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How’s Your Emotional Health? The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage

A TED Talk. How's your emotional health.

Good, bad, positive, negative these are the simple words we use to describe our emotions, thoughts, and actions. Psychologist Susan David said, “Being positive is the new form of moral correctness.” Society teaches us that negative emotions should be avoided by staying positive and looking on the bright side. But isn’t there more to it than that? In this TED Talk, David discusses how locking down into ridge responses to emotions by bottling and labeling them as bad or negative does not allow us to effectively deal with the world as it is, or to constructively address our emotions. She goes on to explain how handling tough emotions are part of our contract with life and the admission we pay for a meaningful one.

Allowing ourselves to feel our emotional truth increases our ability to engage, create and flourish in tough times. David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health, and happiness. “Ridge denial does not work because it is not sustainable,” says David. Facing emotional truth and exercising one’s emotional agility is a far greater choice than denying disappointment, grief or pain.

Susan David, a Harvard Medical School psychologist, studies emotional agility: the psychology of how we can use emotion to bring forward our best selves in all aspects of how we love, live, parent and lead.

David holds a Ph.D. in the psychology of emotions, is an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist, and is ranked as one of the world's leading management thinkers. Her #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility, describes the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change. David is CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, on Harvard Medical School faculty, and a co-founder of the Institute of Coaching. Described as "a powerful speaker, visionary thinker, and inspirational personality," she is an unwavering believer in the power of people to bring the best of who they are to themselves, their children, their organizations and their communities.

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