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8 TED Talks to watch for some soul soothing

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8 TED Talks to watch for some soul soothing

Life is an entanglement of stress and anxiety-causing activities. Maybe even right now as you read this article, your inbox just got reloaded with several emails marked urgent in addition to the project deadline by the end of today. Moreover, your family member just called to ask you if those chicken eggs you helped them get is purely farm fed.

It would surely be an understatement to say your nerves are a little mired in this point in time. 

To help us calm down during these hair-pulling inducing periods, this article will recommend eight TED Talks that will help you to calm down and let you see the brighter side of things.


1. Daniel Levitin: How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed


You're not at your best when you're stressed. In fact, your brain has evolved over millennia to release cortisol in stressful situations, inhibiting rational, logical thinking but potentially helping you survive, say, being attacked by a lion. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin thinks there's a way to avoid making critical mistakes in stressful situations when your thinking becomes clouded. "We all are going to fail now and then," he says. "The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be."

This informative Ted Talk helps us to construct a brilliant way of thinking, the pre-mortem, for you to think about before you head into a particular situation so that you can create mitigative measures for what is to come.


2. Pico Iyer: The Beauty Of What We’ll Never Know



Pico Iyer had taken a trip to Japan nearly 30 years ago, fallen in love with the country and subsequently, moved there. A keen observer of the human spirit, Iyer declares that he now thinks that he understands much less about Japan than he felt he did three decades ago. In this lyrical meditation on wisdom, Iyer expands on this curious insight about knowledge gained with age: that the more we know, the more we see how little we know.

This Ted Talk is perfect for inducing Zen thinking, making us aware that we are unable to find the answers for everything in life at once and to take things one step at a time.


3. John Legend: “Redemption Song”




John Legend is on a mission to transform America's criminal justice system. Through his Free America campaign, he's encouraging rehabilitation and healing in our prisons, jails and detention centres -- and giving hope to those who want to create a better life after serving their time. With a spoken-word prelude from James Cavitt, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, Legend treats us to his version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." "Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?"

“Our failings do not define who we are”. An important value that many of us forget as we battle with our inner demons, this Ted Talk gives us a new perspective about ‘freedom’ from prisoners at the San Quentin State Prison.


4. Thomas Hellum: The world’s most boring television… And why it’s hilariously addictive




You've heard about slow food. Now here's slow ... TV? In this very funny talk, Norwegian television producer Thomas Hellum shares how he and his team began to broadcast long, boring events, often live -- and found a rapt audience. Shows include a 7-hour train journey, an 18-hour fishing expedition and a 5.5-day ferry voyage along the coast of Norway. The results are both beautiful and fascinating. Really.

Teaching us to slow down and enjoy the simplest things in life is this Ted Talk by Thomas Hellum, and makes us focus on the now rather than to be caught up by the myriad of thoughts.


5. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation




Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think and how to develop a better approach—one based upon intrinsic motivation, as opposed to extrinsic rewards.

This interesting Ted Talk opens with the candle problem and pushes us to notice that the nature of our life is not a straight-laced set of rules and single solutions. Thus, we need to rewire our narrow way of solving problems to instead, make use of intrinsic motivation to help open our creative juices.


6. Taiye Selasi: Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local




When someone asks you where you're from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Writer Taiye Selasi speaks on behalf of global citizens, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. "How can I come from a country?" she asks. "How can a human being come from a concept?"

This Ted Talk is pivoted on our relationship with multiple-nationalities as part of the bigger topic on the human relationship with our different roles and identities in life and finding a sense of belonging in this seemingly convoluted area.


7. Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learnt from life and learning




A few days before she turned 61, writer Anne Lamott decided to write down everything she knew for sure. She dives into the nuances of being a human who lives in a confusing, beautiful, emotional world, offering her characteristic life-affirming wisdom and humour on family, writing, the meaning of God, death and more.

An honest yet beautiful Ted Talk about facing truths that we might have avoided for some time in life, Anne aids us to find meaning and sense in the chaos of life and that we should “Never compare your inside to someone else’s outside.”


8. Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator




Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on before we run out of time.

For many of us, procrastinating is the root cause of many of our later stresses. This Ted Talk dissects the process of procrastinating in a light and amicable manner and gives us tips and advice to work smarter and break the cycle of last-second work.


Many of our anxieties and overthinking come from the combination of doubting ourselves, fearing the unknown, and attaining the impossible perfection. We hope that you can find some relief through these talks and find new perspectives and enlightenment in dealing with the many facets of our stresses.