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Our Three Favorite TedTalks For Seeing the Bigger Picture When You’re Stressed About School

Jun 26, 2023

The pressure many students feel to achieve academically often results in stress and anxiety. Anxiety is best addressed by trained professionals, and there are plenty of online and in-person resources for therapy that students and parents can utilize. At the same time, if students are struggling with a general sense of worry or stress about their school work, there are lots of strategies and coping tools that they can implement to minimize those feelings and improve their emotional wellness.

If you’re feeling generally worried about school, here are our favorite TedTalks to help you see the bigger picture!

1. An Antidote to Dissatisfaction

Kurzgesagt’s video examines gratitude as an antidote to dissatisfaction based on a body of scientific studies.

Gratitude is a character trait, a virtue, a feeling and a behavior. Scientists have found that gratitude stimulates the neural pathways involved in reward, forming social bonds, and interpreting other’s intentions and makes it easier to save and retrieve positive memories. It directly counteracts negative traits and feelings, like cynicism and envy. People who are grateful are often happier and have more positive emotions!

The easiest gratitude exercise is gratitude journaling—the practice of writing down specific things you might be grateful for. This brief video offers an accessible introduction to gratitude journaling and other practical ways to express gratitude throughout your day.

2. All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

Can doing nothing make you more productive? In this Ted Talk, Andu Puddicombe discusses the benefits of taking the time to unplug, clear your mind, and be present in the world. Mindfulness and meditation provide meaningful ways to change the way you experience your own life and your mental wellbeing. While some students may be unsure of how to start meditating or intimidated by the practice, Puddicombe demonstrates that devoting only 10 minutes each day to meditation can familiarize them with the ancient practice and ultimately change their outlook on their circumstances!

3. Optimistic Nihilism

As one commenter offers a perfect summary of this “what’s the point of living?”

Nihilism: what’s the point of doing anything if it won’t matter in the end?

Optimistic nihilism: what’s the point of not doing things if it won’t matter in the end?

This video is a great reminder that humans are infinitesimally small in the grand scheme of things, so why not try to make the very most of what life has to offer?

As you enjoy rest and relaxation this summer, remember that self-care is an important discipline to implement in the coming school year. These TedTalks provide poignant reminders and helpful tools to help you think about the bigger picture and prioritize your emotional wellbeing amidst academics, extracurriculars, and college prep!

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