The Body's Language of Stress | Barb Higgins | TEDxYYC

The Body's Language of Stress | Barb Higgins | TEDxYYC

NOTE FROM TED: Please consult with a mental health professional and do not look to this talk for medical advice. Somatic therapy is still an emerging field of study and this talk only represents the speaker’s personal experiences. We’ve flagged this talk for falling outside TEDx’s curatorial guidelines. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give TEDx organizers are described in more detail here:

Stress can really sneak up on us. Most of us are not aware of the signals our bodies send that our stress is building. An award-winning television journalist turns her own stress and personal crisis into a new exploration and curiosity. She discovers that our bodies have their own language, and they are always trying to alert us and guide us to a state of mental, emotional and physical health. Barb is best known for her work as anchor of the CTV Calgary News at 6 and award-winning journalist. Barb left television in 2010 to run for Mayor of Calgary. After a surprising discovery about her own burnout, Barb turned her journalistic curiosity to the effect of toxic stress. She is a Certified Wellness Counselor and is completing her studies in somatic trauma therapy. Barb has won the Peter Legge Philanthropy Award, the Queens Jubilee Award, and the UNICEF Canada Volunteer Service Award. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


  1. I agree that Somatic therapy, I also know it as Self-Regulation, is the missing link to health. Our bodies are designed to keep us safe, for survival, but we end up numbing so much that we miss what our bodies are telling us. By tuning in to how my body feels I can gently feel those feelings and then, and only then, do I use the mind to help me change to a more relaxed state. Through somatic therapy we are literally retraining our nervous systems to recognize we are in the sympathetic (fight, flight, or freeze) but now we can gently get back to the parasympathetic (growth and restoration) so much easier. We have to calm our bodies in order to be healthy. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! I resonate so much with these.

  2. Thank you, for the clarity of your message, your personal sharing, and for making it clear that we all need do watch our drip, drip of distress.

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