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Barbara Fredrickson (2009), the researcher who developed the Broaden-and-Build Theory, introduced us to the idea that as we experience more positive emotions, we travel in an upward spiral where happiness and well-being can become a reality. Fredrickson’s research on the dynamics and benefits of positive emotions focuses primarily on the 10 most common positive emotions.
In this article, we recommend some fantastic TED Talks that offer insight into these positive emotions. We hope you get inspired to both broaden and build your life. Enjoy!
The Joy of Surfing in Ice-Cold Water by Chris Burkard
How can surfing in freezing cold water gives you joy? In this talk, Chris Burkard explains a new perspective to experiencing joy. Prepare to be inspired, playful, and pushed to your edge.
Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful by David Steindl
In this video, David Steindl explains what gratitude is and how it works. He also reveals how to rethink the relationship between happiness and gratitude. Learn the key to the one treasure that we all have the power to attain.
The Habits of Happiness by Matthieu Ricard
In this video, Matthieu Ricard, a biochemist who became a Buddhist monk, will take you on a journey into the Himalayas. He presents his belief that well-being is, in fact, a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment rather than a just a pleasurable sensation. He explains how training your mind and finding serenity can help you deal with the constant fluctuations of human emotions.
A 12-year-old App Developer by Thomas Suarez
Thomas Suarez used his deep interest in app creation to pursue his dream and achieve the previously unachievable.
The Family I Lost in North Korea. And the Family I Gained. by Joseph Kim
Surviving famine, finding a lost family, crossing borders, and living as a refugee, Joseph Kim has not had an easy life. In this talk, he inspires us to use hope as a tool for overcoming harsh realities and transforming challenges into motivation for a better life. He does this all while remaining grateful for his difficult past.
If hope is the belief that things can change, then this is the perfect talk to get the message across. Plus, I hope you can also find that one “chicken wing.”
Never, Ever, Give Up by Diana Nyad
Of which achievements in your life are you the proudest? What have you done today that you won’t regret when looking back on your life? At age 64, Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida and achieved her lifelong goal. Let’s take the time to learn from her achievements and her thrilling story of pride and commitment.
It’s time for “The Talk” by Julia Sweeney
If you are the caretaker of children, you will eventually come across the “birds and the bees” conversation. In her talk, Julia Sweeney shares the most amusing moments from explaining human reproduction to her 8-year-old daughter. Get ready to laugh.
I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much by Stella Young
Stella Young’s pithy presentation asks why disabled people are expected to serve as inspiration for the able-bodied. Instead of being inspired by any perceived adversities in Young’s life, be inspired by her vision of a future where genuine achievement is valued by all.
Please, Please, People. Let’s Put the “Awe” Back in “Awesome” by Jill Shargaa
“Awesome!” Do you know the true meaning of this word? In her short but powerful talk, Jill Shargaa explains what inspires awe and reminds us how to use this powerful word the way it is intended.
10) Last, But Not Least: Love
Love, No Matter What by Andrew Solomon
Have you ever set a condition for your love? In this talk, Andrew Solomon will take your understanding of love to another level. Through his personal story, and the stories of his friends who are viewed as “different” by society at large, Solomon will show you that love is the fundamental key to healing and making real progress toward a better world.
What’s your favorite TED Talk about positive emotions?
Fredrickson, B. (2009). Positivity. Oxford: Oneworld Publications
All videos were sourced directly from https://www.ted.com/talks