Maybe it's my nerdiness coming out, but I love TED Talks. The speeches are thought-provoking, the people are inspiring and the ideas are "worth spreading." While the talks cover an almost infinite variety of topics, the ones that stick with me the most are those about mental health.
A friend of mine and I recently swapped a couple of our favorite talks centered on mental health and it reminded me just how powerful our ideas and words are. Shifting the way we think about and discuss our emotional well-being can change millions of lives, maybe even yours.
"I'm Fine - Learning To Live With Depression" by Jake Tyler.
Jake Tyler speaks about his experience with depression and suicidal thoughts. He found what works for him and continues to inspire others to get outside and find what works for them.
"How to Get Stuff Done When You're Depressed" by Jessica Gimeno.
A woman who faces multiple illnesses, including depression, Jessica Gimeno shares her story and her system for staying productive when you're depressed. If you've ever been in the grips of a depressive episode, you know how difficult it can be to force yourself to be functional. Her advice is simple, straightforward and doable.
"Living with High Functioning Anxiety" by Jordan Raskopoulos.
This hilarious talk spoke to the truth that anxiety doesn't look or act the same in every situation. Blanket statements and assumptions about how someone experiences mental illness doesn't account for the individuality that is so inherent in our human experiences.
"The Power of Vulnerability" by Brene Brown.
One of my favorite talks of all time, Brene Brown's research and speech have touched my life personally. Reframing the idea of vulnerability is incredibly important in our search to strengthen resilience and change the conversation about mental health.
"Depression, the Secret We Share" by Andrew Solomon.
Andrew Solomon gives an eloquent speech that humanizes depression and tries to make sense of this shared experience. His talk is full of deep thinking and truths arrived at through personal experiences. He gave another talk which focuses on making meaning out of our worst moments.
"A Tale of Mental Illness From the Inside" by Elyn Saks.
Elyn Saks talks about her raw experiences living with schizophrenia. Mental illness is rife with stigma and misunderstandings, and she helps to shed some light on what that looks like in the life of someone who has schizophrenia.
"How to Connect with Depressed Friends" by Bill Bernat.
Bill Bernat gives a surprisingly funny speech about what it takes to connect with someone struggling with depression. I particularly love the honest, open nature of his suggestions and the acknowledgement that connecting with someone is a choice, not an obligation.
"The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion" by Kristin Neff.
Another research-based talk that I have watched approximately a thousand times, Kristin Neff works to shift our inner voices to be one of our strongest allies.
These talks have opened the minds of many people and I encourage you to watch, listen and re-watch. Every time I watch these speeches, I catch something that I didn't remember from the last time I saw it and am so grateful that these amazing people are sharing their stories and ideas.
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