Best Tedx Talks on Anxiety, Panic and Negative Thinking

In researching for my upcoming TEDx talk at the TEDx Wilmington’s 7th annual conference on September 27th called “Suck it up! Reduce Kids Anxiety with Simple Chores,” I have watched a lot of TEDx talks on anxiety. Here are some of my favorites:

Suck it Up! Calm Anxious Kids with Simple Chores | Jodi Aman |TEDxWilmington

Of course, I had to include mine in here! xoxo

High Functioning Anxiety Jordan Raskopoulos | TEDxSydney

(BTW: I just did a FB LIVE on this! High Function Anxiety.)

One of my favorite TEDx talks on anxiety is Jordan’s. She is funny, real, and ultimately very helpful. She points out that the object of anxiety is different for different people. For example, some people get stage fright but Jordan is most at home on stage. “I get ‘Life Fright.'” I am ‘Shy Loud.” she says.

She speaks about people with high functioning anxiety and how hard they have to work to feel okay about themselves. How many are trapped by perfectionism?

She says, “I worry about the work to do, but my worry is actually doing the work.” I concur! Worry is more work often than the job itself. It is usually more exhausting, more tedious, and more suffering.  If you are the kind of person who cannot relax- even if you are procrastinating – you are worrying, maybe it is time to take a look at how to make your life easier.  People often stay busy because if they don’t keep their brain doing something, anxiety takes over.

Kinds of Anxiety

It makes me the question: is having high functioning anxiety easier than being trapped in your home, frozen with anxiety? It may be the lesser of two evils. Getting busy is often the path to being frozen in your house with anxiety. This is how I started my recovery. But for me, the business turned into purpose and built up my self-confidence. But I don’t have people stay where Jordan finds herself. I see it as a step, but then, improving self-esteem and self-worth will have you high functioning without anxiety. That is the end game.

I like how she mentions being freed about finding out you have a mental health issue.” Genuine therapy is really, really good, too.” She also acknowledges using a community of friends to help. Don’t isolate!

She also notices that her strength because of her anxiety is that she is great in a crisis. I can relate. I think that is because of my anxiety I am also good in a crisis- how about you?

So much more to say, but let’s let Jordan say it:

Anxiety: Hibernate, Adapt, or Migrate: Summer Beretsky at TEDxWilliamsport

“Giving up is not a bad thing.” I agree, Summer! Sometimes when dealing with a problem- a change in context (migrate) is the way out. “People are not problems, the problem is the problem.” is one of the major assumptions of narrative therapy. So problems don’t happen in people. They happen in relationships and in contexts. Change your literal context or changing your mind (the context inside your head) is crucial in anxiety treatment recovery.

I like this quote: “You can’t help your community without helping yourself.” Sometimes we need motivation beyond ourselves to get better, because when you are down- you may not feel worthy enough to get better.

Eye-opening: “When an animal is in an environment that can’t support the animal- they hibernate, adapt, or migrate.” I LOVE this! Wow, we all do this, and it is a great way to think about it. Love how she goes into the biology of it.

PTSD from Panic

“So afraid of the next panic attack coming that you are frozen and can barely leave your house or fear of one coming.” We get PTSD from the first panic attack! When was your first panic attack?

Fight or flee? Summer mentions Drive by Daniel Pink about motivation. “Mastery, autonomy, and purpose promote our greater physical and emotional well being.”  You need this or you feel lost, unable, unworthy, and anxious. I agree, Summer!

Call to action: “Write your own script. You can’t go on if someone else is writing your script.” Get into your own power or anxiety will always make you feel powerless! Judging yourself by someone else’s script never goes well, you will always fall short. Let go of the script that doesn’t serve you!

If you are anxious- is there something you are unhappy about? Do you feel untethered? Useless? Let’s get you better.


A new plan for anxious feelings: escape the custard! | Neil Hughes | TEDxLeamingtonSpa

Neil, my man. Dry humor. I love dry humor.

“Anxiety- use the same word for regular fear and crippling anxiety. Like comparing an all-out war to playful tickle fight.”

That’s why I define anxiety– so people don’t get confused. Same word, but people can mean something totally different. I feel it would be helpful if we all got on the same page. Me: Anxiety is the leftover fear response when you’re not in physical danger. For more on this, get my 20 ways pdf.

“People often don’t share when they are anxious – we pretend we are okay.” I am glad celebs are coming out as anxious and making us all feel not so alone.

His solution is to do something different. “Clearly whatever I am doing isn’t working…My instinct is to dwell on this, but if I stand up and sing- it’s breaking the cycle.”

I love Neil. His kindness really comes through. Watch:

Breaking The Loop of Anxiety | Colin Bien | TEDxLeuphanaUniversityLüneburg

We are restless. We want purpose and meaning and without it, we feel out of control. Colin started routines that gave him purpose and meaning and this is how he decreased his stress and eliminated his panic.

You have to perceive the anxiety felt as a threat. You have to be scared of your feelings. But they are so awful that it is understandable to be upset.

He says, “acknowledge and accept them.” This is confusing to people. I explain that anxiety needs you to be bothered. If you are not bothered, it has no power. This is long and a bit slow, but may be helpful for you to watch:

Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood | TEDxUCDavis

How people think: Social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood is one of the TEDx talks on anxiety but uses the idea of getting stuck in negatives. This causes anxiety!

Why does the negative stick in the mind? She did an experiment about the glass half full and half empty. This is so interesting, once the loss frame is in there, it stays. Once we think of something as a loss, it sticks and resists our attempt to change it. Wow!

This makes me not feel so crazy. I don’t feel like I’m just negative. I feel human.

You have to watch to see what happens.

Happy people generate their own happiness.

Can you find the good in your bad day?

Overcoming Anxiety | Jonas Kolker | TEDxTheMastersSchool

Jonas is in 9th grade. This is my daughter’s age. He is so eloquent and it’s amazing that he did this. Lily will do a cameo in my TEDxWilmington talk, but to say the whole thing herself, I don’t think she would.

“I don’t feel good. And I didn’t know why,” I get that. Kids will relate and this is so freaky and makes anxiety worse! (5 Ways To Get Over School Anxiety.)

You have to go to know that you are okay in school, and you cannot KNOW unless you go.

Jonas describes anxiety well. “Anxiety is a universal emotion felt by all. 5 out of 5 people have anxiety.”

Two main methods of treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure. “Exposure works better than medicine.” How do you feel about exposure? If you need help

Best quotes: “Mindfulness is not some hippy, mystical, mumbo jumbo.” “Embrace the suck.”

He demystifies anxiety, which is how I help people. Explaining anxiety helps people so much! Get my Anxiety-Free Me! Online Course!

Overcome Anxiety in 7 Minutes | Mel Schwartz | TEDxBeaconStreet

Mel is a fellow therapist. “Anxiety comes with our relationship to our thoughts.” Yes, of course.

Mel says that our want for certainly and inability to have it leads to anxiety. Yes. This is what I am going to talk about- why we feel so out of control and are desperately seeking certainty. If we felt more in control, we would seek certainty less and be less anxious.

He suggests a new game plan: Reality is not fixed. It is a flowing sea of possibilities and we can create it. Start taking your life into your own hands. So now you see that you have the power instead of “uncertainty” (AKA anxiety) having the power. I like his metaphor for his client in the river. So relatable.

Just another way to say what I say. Anxiety needs you to be bothered. If you are not afraid of uncertainty, it won’t make you anxious. Sometimes different words help the penny drop for you!


3 Ways to Overcome Anxiety | Olivia Remes | TEDxKlagenfurt

This is a very famous of the TEDx talks on anxiety: Olivia has done several TEDx talks on anxiety actually.

She is a researcher. People like her calming voice. Not as entertaining. It makes it hard to think and makes it hard to connect with others.

I don’t like her definition of normal anxiety and anxiety disorder. Totally disagree.

Let’s talk about worst-case scenarios- they never happen as you imagine. Relationships are important!

  1. Stop censoring what you say or do. Confidence is a skill that can be developed with practice.
  2. Practice spending time with people who treat you well. WOWsies! Yes! Yes! Oh yes!
  3. Treat yourself like someone you love.

I love #3 because Olivia sees the connection with how you feel about yourself and your anxiety.

It. Is. Everything.

She also has a great description of social anxiety. “If only I can be like that person, or if only I can be normal, my life would be perfect.” Is that you?

“The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.”

Rethinking anxiety: Learning to face fear | Dawn Huebner | TEDxAmoskeagMillyardWomen

Dawn’s TEDx talk on anxiety starts a little headier at first. But then she tells the story of her son Eli and it is so relatable. She is very good!

I like that Dawn distinguished “anxiety” is only perceived danger. (Unlike Olivia who thinks that there is “normal anxiety.”)  She talks about the things that families do to help a kid cope with their anxieties.

Lots of TEDx talks on anxiety promote cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Change what you are doing and it changes what you were thinking, and it would change how you were thinking.

To get over anxiety you have to learn to take a chance. To be uncertain and do it anyway.

“Possibility of that bad thing is worse than that bad thing.”

Her kid’s anxiety book: What to Do What You Worry Too Much. by Dawn Huebner.

I like that she does exposure gradually. This is how I do it with the people I work with.

“Remember, being afraid is not the same as being in danger.”

Breaking the anxiety cycle through kindness | Steven Zanella | TEDxAmoskeagMillyard

Steven nails the anxiety voices in your head. “What if?”

He felt helpless and trapped- hallmarks of anxiety.

“How could anyone understand when I didn’t understand?” Even though you know cognitively that lots of people have anxiety, you still feel alone. You are different and odd.

I thought, “No matter what choice I made, I would make the wrong choice.” Growing up when your parents were unstable, does something to your mind.

Addresses the label of “lazy” when you are so afraid that you will fail, that you can’t move. He is exposed and even cries during this talk. #triggeralert He gets it. He will get you!

You are going to love his “miracle”. Watch.

What was your favorite Tedx talk on anxiety and why?

4 thoughts on “Best Tedx Talks on Anxiety, Panic and Negative Thinking”

  1. Great, I have watched all the videos and I like Olivia Remes guide on 3 Ways to Overcome Anxiety. It will really help us to get rid of it. I will surely share this post-social platform.

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