A recent TED talk by Sangu Delle, “There’s No Shame in Taking Care of Your Mental Health,” has inspired thousands to come to an understanding of their mental health.1 Delle gives an impassioned talk about his own struggle with anxiety and depression as a man raised to uphold a cultural ideal of masculinity in which men deal with their own problems—or suffer in silence.
It’s a TED talk that can change the way you view your own struggles. In honor of Delle’s courageous honesty, here are five more TED talks that can shape the way you see yourself for the better and inspire you to change your life.
“The Surprising Science of Happiness”
Dan Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, shows us how happiness really works.2 Think happiness is something that comes to you as a direct result of your experiences? That it can be measured by power, fame and fortune? Gilbert begs to differ, using several well-designed studies to demonstrate that happiness is created within our own brains.
A paraplegic, he argues, has just as much chance of being happy as a multi-millionaire. When you create your own happiness, the power to change your life is within yourself.
“How to Make Stress Your Friend”
For many who are struggling with an addiction, stress is the most compelling trigger there is. Neuroscientist Kelly McGonigal describes the difference between a negative stress response and a positive one and shows us how the reaction we choose to have to stress affects our bodies.3 When you can make stress your friend, you will begin to see that you have the power to resist cravings and change your life for the better.
“What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness”
Robert Waldinger, the fourth director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, takes a slightly different approach to the study of happiness. The study, which started tracking the lives of 724 men in the 1930s, is still continuing today, and most of the participants are now in their 90s. Waldinger shows that the healthiest, happiest and longest-living of the group are those who made sustaining quality relationships their top priority.4
“Why We Laugh”
We all know that laughter is the best medicine. But why is that, exactly? Sophie Scott explains more than just the mechanics of laughter; she demonstrates the social effects of laughter and how laughing together can foster the types of quality relationships that Robert Waldinger points to as indicators of long and healthy lives.5 With laughter, you change your life and connect with the people who love you most.
“Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You”
If ever there was empowering proof that you can change your life, it lives in Shaka Senghor. Imprisoned for 20 years for second-degree murder, Senghor’s story of self-discovery, forgiveness and the compassion that resides even in the most hardened of people will urge you to look into your own life, to find ways to stop blaming others for your problems and to forgive yourself.6