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Connection, Social Skills

5 Ted Talks That Show You How To Connect With Others More Deeply

Simple actions like laughing or playing can supercharge our relationshipsand help us lead more emotionally rich and balanced lives. 

We’ve rounded up 5 short TED talks that explain the science behind these actions and inspire us to practice them more often.

  1. Say Thanks

“Thank you” is something we say often, but not enough. In fact, we tend to say it more frequently in casual encounters at the supermarket checkout than to the people in our lives who we’re truly grateful for.

In this short but sweet talk, Dr. Laura Trice shows us how a simple act of gratitude can make our friendships stronger, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for thanks when we need it ourselves.

  1. Smile

How many bars of chocolate do you have to eat to replicate the same amount of brain stimulation as a smile? According to this talk from Ron Gutman, you’ll need to get through about 2000 bars of the stuff, but you probably won’t feel too good about yourself afterwards!

A simple smile can do a world of good for our emotional well-being, and doing it on a regular basis can improve our lives in more ways than you think.

  1. Write Letters

Thanks to the internet, we can send a message to anyone anywhere in the world instantly. But we rarely focus on the writing and the person we’re writing for.

Hannah Brencher argues that we need to write more letters in our lives because words speak louder when they are written thoughtfully and intentionally on a simple piece of paper. It can be as simple as leaving little notes for those around us, or as complex as a written correspondence with a distant friend halfway across the country: the result is still the same – we develop stronger, deeper and more meaningful connections.

  1. Thumb Wrestle

Even if thumb wrestling isn’t your thing, you can still take something out of this fast-paced (and sometimes chaotic) presentation on how a simple game can create an atmosphere that makes connection easy.

In this TED talk, Jane McGonigal literally shows us how playfulness can transform our relationships, and inspires us to welcome in a little more fun into our lives.

  1. Laugh

Laughing is one of our most primitive expressions, and we use it in so many different ways we almost take it for granted. The power of laughter can turn a bad situation on its head and bring even the most stressful situations under control, but this can sometimes be forgotten when things become serious.

Neuroscientist Sophie Scott uses her great British sense of humor to teach us some interesting facts about laughter, and makes the case for creating more of it in our lives. By doing so, we can regulate our emotions, make and maintain our social bonds, and have fun in the process.

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