2 posts tagged “inspirational talks”

5 must-watch TED Talks Mental Health

Posted 12 months ago by

Ever watch TED Talks? TED is a nonprofit “devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).”

We’ve rounded up some of the top health-related videos from the TED series (1,700+ talks and counting) that might resonate or give you food for thought.

Phil Hansen – “Embrace the shake”

Hansen developed a hand tremor in art school and thought he might need to abandon his passion. His neurologist, however, encouraged him to “embrace the shake.” While he could no longer make the art the same way (pointillist drawings), he found some new media for making art (like… hamburger grease paintings) and learned that “embracing a limitation could actually drive creativity.”

Notable quote: “Instead of telling each other to seize the day, maybe we can remind ourselves every day to seize the limitation.”

Amy Mullins – “The opportunity of adversity”

The definition of “disabled” disturbs Mullins, who’s a double-amputee because she was born without shinbones. Every person will face adversity, and society’s preconceived notions about “disabilities” or differences or ailments aren’t doing us any favors, she argues. What if they are a source of strength?

Notable quote: “Perhaps until we’re tested, we don’t know what we’re made of. Maybe that’s what adversity gives us – a sense of self, a sense of power.”

Joseph Ravenell – “How barbershops can keep men healthy”

Hate going to the doctor? You’re not alone. Ever since medical school, Joseph Ravenell, M.D., has focused his research on healthcare interventions that would appeal to black men — many of whom avoid going to “the stoic figure in a white coat” and have untreated high blood pressure. So he teamed up with his barber in Harlem to bring blood pressure checks to…the barbershop.

Notable quote: “What is your barbershop? Where is that place for you where people affected by a unique problem can meet a unique solution?”

Kelly McGonigal – “How to make stress your friend”

McGonigal, a psychologist, wants to make you “better at stress.” Like many other doctors and academics, she previously preached that stress is a public health enemy. But emerging research shows that it can actually be an asset — if you learn how to reframe your thinking about it.

Notable quote: “Can changing how you think about stress make you healthier? The science says ‘yes.'”

Guy Winch – “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid”

While we’re very good at teaching good habits for physical health (like brushing our teeth or putting bandages on cuts), we’re pretty terrible at instilling “emotional hygiene.” So what is “emotional first aid”? Winch, a psychologist, describes it as noticing unhealthy mental habits and trying to change them.

Notable quote: “When you’re in emotional pain, treat yourself with the same compassion you would expect from a truly good friend.”

Do any of these talks speak to you? Or do you have any other interesting or inspiring TED Talks (or other videos related to healthcare or mental health) you’d like to share? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to swap your favorite talks in this forum chat!


How to Thrive: Takeaways from TEDx Cambridge

Posted November 30th, 2011 by

Patient Experience Manager Kate Brigham and I attended TEDx Cambridge last week, a one-day event full of thought-provoking and inspirational talks about Ideas Worth Spreading (TED’s mission). The participants didn’t want to just survive, they wanted to Thrive, which was this year’s theme. Speakers, including our President and Co-Founder Ben Heywood, enlightened the crowd with how we can help ourselves in small ways and inspire others in the process.

The Entrance to TEDx Cambridge 2011

Throughout four sessions packed with 30+ speakers on the topics of Mind, Body, We, and Beyond, many shared how people can improve themselves individually, by being part of a community, and by giving back to others. Some advice is expected—sleep more, drink less caffeine, eat more vegetables, try yoga—but other points were more novel.

For example, we were encouraged by Matt Daniell to try something, anything, for a month as “time becomes much more memorable when undertaking 30 day challenges.” Using research on the effects of body posture on hormones, Amy Cuddy shared that doing a power pose for just a few minutes (like putting your feet up on your desk) is minimal effort, but can benefit your brain as well as others’ perception of you. (Note: she recommended we put our feet up in private, not in a meeting!) One of the lessons that seemed to resonate most was from Priya Parker, who encouraged the audience to not worry about keeping all options open—that it’s FOMO (the fear of missing out) and FOBO (the fear of better opportunities) that contribute to many people’s anxiety and stress.

PatientsLikeMe President and TEDx Speaker Ben Heywood (Center) Along with Brothers Jamie Heywood (Left) and Stephen Heywood (Right), Whose ALS Diagnosis Inspired the Creation of PatientsLikeMe

In addition to Ben talking about PatientsLikeMe, other speakers shared the importance of connecting people with others like them, making data more accessible and empowering patients to take control of their health. Greg Epstein and Jesus Gerena, although in different fields (a Humanist Chaplain and Activist, respectively) arrived at the same conclusion: that when people come together and help one another, the entire group is empowered and everyone benefits.

Our ears also perked up when Sandy Pentland, a social scientist at MIT, discussed how important data is and stated that “personal data is the new oil of the Internet.” Further affirming the importance of data, John Sheffield talked about how he wants to make sure that genomics analysis is accessible, repeatable and shareable. He’s found in his field of data architecture that’s it’s all about connections with others, a point of view we certainly share!

Heart Patient and TEDx Speaker Hugo Campos

One story that perhaps applies most to what we’re doing here at PatientsLikeMe was presented by Hugo Campos, a heart patient who is literally on a quest to liberate data from his own heart. Although he has a high-tech cardiac defibrillator, he doesn’t have access to the data collected by this device. We’re with you, Hugo: “We all have the right to our own health information!”

At PatientsLikeMe, we help people Thrive by connecting patients so that they can share their experiences, find others like them and, together, learn how to best improve their health. From disease-specific outcome scores to our Quality of Life survey and InstantMe tool, we offer all sorts of ways to monitor your health and assess the impact of various treatments and interventions.

How do you help yourself and others Thrive? Share your thoughts in the comments section.  Also, check out the video of Ben’s talk.

PatientsLikeMe member emorgan