How to practice emotional first aid | Guy Winch at TED

Guy Winch at TED: How to practice emotional first aid.

Guy Winch does an amazing job in this TED talk pointing out the disparity between our attention and cultural fixation on physical health, and our lack of shared cared for our emotional health. What do we really know about maintaining our emotional health? Why is it that young children know how important it is to brush their teeth, but don’t know proven techniques to maintain their emotional hygiene.

Here’s a few simple tips that Guy Winch asks us to attend to on our way to deep cultural awareness of our psychological health:

  • be attentive to our loneliness and chronic loneliness which have deep physiological impacts,
  • work to challenge the effects of our setbacks and failures,
  • interrupt negative self-talk, and care for our self-esteem, especially after rejection,
  • distract ourselves from rumination before it becomes a habit; even a two minute distraction can change our outlook.


We’ll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.


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