How to break free of fearful thinking. The 16 best YouTube videos to lift you up and reset your mind during these difficult times

In the face of this global pandemic, it’s only human to get caught up in negative thinking and fears about the future. We may find ourselves reading or watching the news a lot. We take comfort in believing that we’re getting useful information.

But the wiser path is to limit your intake of the news and social media. Instead, spend time immersing yourself in uplifting thoughts and activities.

One of the best ways I found to get a “reset” when I’m feeling anxious is to watch videos on YouTube that help me find meaning, or are otherwise healing or uplifting.

These videos help remind you that no matter how difficult things seem, you can find inner peace and tranquility. That this time is an opportunity to slow down, discovering what’s most important in life. And that in adversity we find meaning, inner strength and connection to the human family.

  1. Music and life—Alan Watts

Alan Watts was a funny, insightful and beautiful soul. His voice reaches out now in times of trouble and reminds us to take this time to consider what life is about. With delightful animation by the South Park guys, this is a powerful video that could change your life.

2, The meaning of life —Sam Harris

I’d never heard of Sam Harris before I stumbled on this video. It’s beautiful and full of insights about how to live a meaningful life. The music and imagery adds to the depth of the message.

3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

This video boils down the wisdom of the book “Man’s Search for Meaniing” by psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Victor Frankl in a way that’s accessible and easy to follow. After watching, you may be inspired to read what is one of the most meaningful books ever written.

4. Pema Chodron —Fear and Fearlessness

Filled with pearls of wisdom, this talk is a guide to dealing with fear, and offers an uplifting message about how to handle it so you can live a full life. This was recorded some time ago but is more appropriate now than ever.

5. Staying conscious in the face of adversity—a special message from Ekhart Tolle

This video is short and yet offers so much—solace, inspiration, a guided meditation, and wisdom from Jesus’s teachings. This world renowned spiritual teacher’s guidance on how to handle fear and uncertainty in the face of the pandemic is a balm to the soul.

6. Indigenous dancers share videos with powwows canceled

This compilation shows beautiful dances that indigenous North Americans are doing despite powwows having to be canceled due to Covid-19. It’s so touching to see these people dancing their hearts out in isolation—and you can feel the healing they’re creating when you watch. If you can’t get enough of this, there are hundreds more videos like these on a Facebook group, Quarantine Dance Specials 2020.

7. Meditation—let go of fear in uncertain times

Jason Stephenson is my favorite online guided meditation leader. His voice is soothing, and he uses beautiful music. This one has a message of kindness and unity as well as his usual dose of healing and inner harmony.

8. Law enforcement wish six-year-old boy a happy birthday during social isolation

You can imagine what it’s like for a kid dealing with social isolation and a parent who has to stay on the job on his special day. This video shows the many creative ways people came up with to wish him happy birthday. It’s a reminder that humans are amazing creatures. Stick with it to the end, for a surprise.

9. Mary Oliver reads her poems

Okay this is a bit of a cheat but I couldn’t decide on just one poem so here are a few. They’re all life affirming and beautiful, profound and wise.

The Summer Day AKA The Grasshopper

Why I Wake Early

Wild Geese

10. Neil Young and Crazy Horse—Shut it Down 2020

Beautiful song accompanied by a montage of uplifting videos from around the world. The message is that we can change the world for the better.

11. Step inside the circle

This demonstrates how compassion heals and reassures even the most traumatized people. It’s timely to say the least—for many of us, the pandemic is bringing up past traumas. This reminds you you’re lovable and valuable just as you are.

12. Tony and Niblo

Anthony Hopkins plays the piano with his cat in this sweet little video. Hopkins is known for playing a violent character but it’s obvious that he’s a gentle soul. You’ll feel better just by spending time with these two loving friends.

13. Ram Dass on dissolving the fear

Ram Dass was a wonderful spiritual teacher whose wise and lighthearted way made him beloved by millions. Here are two short videos of his talks that explore fear and how to manage it so you’re not caught in its web. Watch them both.

Dissolving the fear, finding your own beauty

The antidote to fear

14. Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope

This was a live performance from the Duomo di Milano on Easter Sunday 2020. It’s beautiful music that speaks to the soul. And for a country so hard hit by the coronavirus it has special resonance. It reminds us that there’s always light and beauty, no matter how dark the times.

15. Positive stories of random acts of corona-kindness in a time of uncertainty

From the $9,000 tip for restaurant workers to the children playing cello for their elderly neighbors, this CNN segment reminds us that people are coming together to help each other during these difficult days. In spite of fear and uncertainty, kindness is everywhere. The weatherman’s reaction at the end is worth waiting for.

16. “Imagine” performed in an empty metro station

From the moment the musician sits down, removes his mask and sprays down the keyboard, you’ll be gripped. The song seems more meaningful than ever now, and the refrain, “it’s easy if you try” is a good reminder to do just that. Guaranteed to warm your heart and bring hope back.

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