How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed | Daniel Levitin

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

You’re not at your best when you’re stressed. In fact, your brain has evolved over millennia to release cortisol in stressful situations, inhibiting rational, logical thinking but potentially helping you survive, say, being attacked by a lion. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin thinks there’s a way to avoid making critical mistakes in stressful situations, when your thinking becomes clouded — the pre-mortem. “We all are going to fail now and then,” he says. “The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be.”

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:
Subscribe to our channel:

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy ( For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at


Zinnura Ergasheva says:

Hello My name is Omina I am from is Uzbekistan

Linda Stephens says:

This started out well, learning about preparing for stress. Then suddenly it’s about the effectiveness of statin drugs.

Prescription J. says:

Who needs to hear this. If you find this information helpful. You are lost

caralu says:

overthinking with a purpose in layman's terms, then?

er godoy says:

The comparison of risks and benefits is deeply flawed. The risks and benefits presented for statins are not fairly weighted. One in 300 chance of preventing a life-changing, debilitating event like a stroke or heart attack vs one in 15 chance of experiencing a non life changing event that resolves with medication discontinuation.

I’d expect so much more from
A neuroscientist, but unfortunately, this is not the first time TED talks have let me down.

Morrbiz llc says:

Yea did not help 'clickbait'

Rippen says:

Comments around photographing and emailing your ID / credit cards is extremely bad practice, to the point this should be censured. You cannot blindly say things like that without thinking, having your bank account emptied or identity stolen is far worse than losing your keys. This nieve speech is making that very possible. Do not follow that advise

Mickhail M. Baraquel says:

But thinking ahead will make you overthink of different scenarios that might happen which will rob your attention from the most important thing at hand. It's more stressful, I think.
The topic was more informative about medicines.

Cookies Are Delicious says:

How to not be stressed: try to predict every possible thing that could go wrong in advance.


Little Dinos With Aiden&Megan says:

I needsd this.

Luke Doyle says:

I thought he was trying to stress us out with the medical stats to make a point at the end….. unfortunately he was not.

This message is a bit weird though, you only get stressed about things your not prepared for and he’s ensuing if we prepare for things we won’t be stressed but the philosophy isn’t very practical. I can’t prepare for every possible medical or financial situation ahead of time. I’m not sure if I’ve missed the point on this one but it doesn’t seem like practical advice.

John Travolta says:

I don't like to be calm because I hate silence and video games with the rules strictly rewritten on paper.

Michelle Sim says:

This? helps? I'm stressed even more thanks.

Atman Muhil says:

can anyone tell me that what is the genre of this topic

Kiyo says:

It’s important to recognize all of us are flawed but it might lead us to negative choice.

Deise Soares says:

I would love to be less stressed

Kelly Chuba says:

Never have more than two homes for an object so It is always in only one of those two places. Lost me at the medical care. You are a victim no matter what you do.

wendy chapman says:

The military fall scilly receive because end compellingly worry upon a gamy nut. breakable, shocking tuesday

Dyani says:

Those squirrels deserved better

Simona Ortale says:

Conclusion: you need to overthink everything you do before it’s too late

Scott Poerschke says:

The example related to the keys is not a good example because you cannot do a pre-mortem in that situation.

卢军宏台长心灵法门 says:

Many people, throughout their lives,

love themselves more than anyone else.

The more we love only ourselves,

the lonelier we become.

The more we love other sentient beings,

the more blissful we become.

Write a comment