A Great TED Talk for Anyone who Struggles with Anxiety

A Great TED Talk for Anyone who Struggles with Anxiety

Written by Emilie

Topics: Mental Health

I’ve always been a chronic worrier. In the last five years, that worrying has morphed into a more intense and chronic anxiety (or maybe it was always this bad and I just didn’t have a name for it). In any case, I’ve worked really hard at learning strategies to help me deal with my anxious thoughts, and I am much better at managing them now.

But anxiety is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. So when friend, puttypeep, and Puttylike Staff Writer, Neil Hughes, told me that he was doing a TED talk based on his wonderful book, Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life, I couldn’t want to see it!

Behold a fantastic (and hilarious) look at anxiety, as well as some techniques you can use to “escape your custard traps and step onto solid ground.” You’ll see what I mean.

Congratulations Neil! You should be very proud. :)

If this talk resonated with you, please share it. Anxiety is an important topic that we need to be talking about more openly.

em_bioEmilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.


  1. Carol says:

    Great Ted talk Neil,
    Thanks for being brave and bold for sharing, opening up is not always easy. Glad to see you found some techniques to work through the nervous energy.
    How can one get a copy of your book?

  2. Lauren Curtis says:

    Your talk really resonated with me, and I really enjoyed your humor too! The custard analogy is brilliant, thank you for sharing.

  3. Joost says:

    I can totally relate, it feels like it is a common trade for multipotentialites.

  4. Elisabete says:

    I really ejoyed it, fantastic!!!! Thanks for sharing ;)

  5. Elise Heise says:

    As your sister from another mister, and soul cut from similar cloth, I applaud you for your courage! Also, not to be super nerdy, but your use of the Navier-Stokes equation make me squee inside. I’ve always been embarrassed by being such a hopeless and insatiably curious goofball, and tonight, watching this, me and my two cats feel less alone.

    Hugs from South Carolina, USA. -Elise

    • Neil Hughes says:

      Haha, yay, I’m so glad someone recognised the equations! :D

      I’m even more glad that the talk resonated with you – it’s good to know we’re all in this together, right? You’re definitely not alone in being nerdy and insatiably curious, in fact you’re in good company :p

      Thanks so much :)

  6. Eisa says:

    Totally can relate to this. In fact I’m suffering while write this comment “what if my comment was silly”,”there going to be a spilling mistake and people are going to think a idiot “.
    This video reminds me to recognize the patterns in my brain, thanks so much for the video and for this blog it really helps :)

    • Neil Hughes says:

      Haha Eisa, I have those worries too… It’s amazing how many of us get stuck in these unhelpful patterns. Thank you for sharing, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the talk :)

  7. Melissa says:


    I watched the video right when I was having an anxious episode (or should I say right when I was falling into a custard trap? :)) and it was exactly what I needed.

    It made me laugh out loud and cry at the same time because even though I talk more and more openly about my anxiety disorder, I still feel all alone most of the time. Listening to this and seeing all the people laughing knowingly in the room made me feel like part of a community.

    Thanks a lot Neil for the talk and Emilie for sharing. I will be watching and re-watching it.

  8. Sarit says:

    Hi Neil, I bumped into your Ted video . In the last month I am very nervous and add panic attacks. I feel very bad about it and as you describe like I am walking on custard … I am going to watch your video again and again and try your ideas. Thank you so much for your help?

  9. Jennifer says:

    Well done Neil!
    I could have written that word for word. The turmoil of what I perceive as a dumb comment… The suspected medical issues… I understand now. I’m not special. Haha! There is comfort in knowing that a lot of others feel the same. We all appear normal and that makes it harder to find each other.
    You are a wonderful speaker- funny and engaging. Thanks for sharing!

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