“Cognitive restructuring” is one of the cornerstone skills of Cognitive Therapy. It involves identifying thoughts that are impacting our mood and considering alternatives that may be more helpful or accurate. Practicing this simple skill allows us to recognize that our thoughts are flexible and adaptable, and that they have a big impact on how we feel. The simplest way to practice this skill is by using a “thought record,” another hallmark of CBT. Generating alternative thoughts doesn’t require a form or need to be a static practice.

There are so many sources of alternative perspectives and concepts in our media-rich world; one of my favorite places to go is Ted.com, a nonprofit devoted to disseminating the ideas of some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. Here are my Top 15 Ted Talks. If this list is too long or you just want to “be surprised,” select the “surprise me” option on Ted.com (http://www.ted.com/surpriseme). Inspiration, and alternative perspectives, await you…

TOP 15 Ted Talks

Carol Dweck: The Power of Believing you can improve


Andrew Solomon – Depression, the secret we share


hJD Schramm: Break the Silence for Suicide Attempt Survivors


Joe Kowan: How I beat stage fright


Susan Cain: The power of introverts


Nancy Etcoff – On happiness and why we want it


Sophie Scott: On why we laugh

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain


Michael Merzenich

Growing evidence of brain plasticity

Sherwin Nuland: How electroshock therapy changed me

Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness

Al Seckel: Visual illusions that show how we (mis)think


Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend


Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes


Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar


Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability


Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake