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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Martin-Himmons

3 Best Ted Talks on Self-Care

One of the great things about video is that we have Ted Talks! There are Ted Talks for every subject under the sun including, one of my personal favs – Self-Care! When we think of self-care, most often we think about how to care for our bodies – take a bubble bath, go to bed early, exercise – but often, we neglect self-care of the mind. It’s important to make time to engage in self-care of the mind because it helps you to manage your stress before your stress manages you.

The following three Ted Talks have one thing in common, they talk about different aspects of mental self-care. The first is Guy Winch’s talk about emotional first aid; the second is Andy Puddicombe’s on being mindful and the third is David Steindl-Rast’s on gratitude.

Read on for a summary of the three best Ted Talks on Self-care.

By Guy Winch

Guy talks about how in general, we value the body more than the mind in this country. This is shown by the fact that most of us are taught at very young age how to maintain our body – brush your teeth, bandage a cut, etc. but we’re not really taught anything about how to maintain our mental health. Failure, loneliness, rejection – examples of mental/emotional injuries that we suffer way more often than physical injuries.

He then goes on to define loneliness as feeling emotionally or socially disconnected from others. And states that chronic loneliness can pose as much danger to an individual as cigarette smoking.

One question that we as the audience are asked is, “How does your mind react to the frustration and setback of failure?” I for one, when experiencing a failure always like to think that I might be down, but I’m not out! I believe that it’s important not to let life’s setbacks keep you down for a long period of time, because too much rumination over those things that have gone wrong can lead to worry and anxiety which are things that we can all use less of.

Guy then goes on to talk about how we often make emotional injuries worse by calling ourselves names after setbacks or failures.When your self-esteem is low, you’re more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. We say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t accept from others. I say, learn to treat yourself with the same compassion that you would give to others.Talk that positive self-talk.

By Andy Puddicombe

Andy starts out by asking the audience to “Think about the last time you took 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing.” I tried to think, and I couldn’t! 😊 Cause you know if you’ve been reading these blog posts for a while, my mind always has at least 5,000 things on it at once!

He then goes on to talk about what life would be like if we all did this each day. We rely on our minds to help us be happy, thoughtful, kind, and considerate of others. Our minds help us to be focused, spontaneous and creative as well, since creativity is a form of self-care.

Andy makes a great point when he states that we spend more time looking after our things or others then we do our minds, which leaves us vulnerable to stress. And being stressed out, makes us miss out on those very things that we feel are most important, because you can’t really enjoy life.

Those 10 minutes are about using meditation as a preventative measure. Andy then goes on to talk about the various ways people cope with stress. Meditation and mindfulness help you to be present in the here & now. Not ruminating over the past or stressing about the future. Just what’s happening here, just at this moment now.

In just 10 minutes a day you can have a positive effect on the rest of your life. Meditation allows you to step back and get a different perspective on your life.

By David Steindl-Rast

I’m a big proponent of gratitude. Afterall, I created a gratitude journal to help myself and others have an outlet for keeping gratitude top of mind. I enjoyed this Ted Talk because it really emphasized the connection between gratitude and happiness.

David starts out his talk with the statement that, “All people want to be happy. What makes each of us happy differs, but the goal remains the same.” Which I absolutely agree with, because I believe that the desire for happiness unites us all.

He asks, “Are the happy people grateful? Or are the grateful people happy?” To be grateful about something, that something must be valuable & freely given. To live gratefully is to be aware that every moment is a gift – be grateful for that moment and you’ll be able to live gratefully.

Even when something bad happens to us, think about it as an opportunity to learn something and for that learning it’s important to be grateful because that learning is how we grow. Gratefulness can change the world by allowing people to act out of a sense of enough, instead of a sense of scarcity.

So there you have it, three of the best talks on how to take care of your mind as part of your self-care.

Let’s talk, what do you do for mental self-care? Let me know in the comments section.


Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In

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