Some amazing TED Talks on Happiness

We just cannot hear enough about it! Next to good health happiness is the most important thing in life. These videos might inspire you or even help help you in achieving happiness…

Aimee Mullins – The Opportunity of Adversity

The thesaurus might equate “disabled” with synonyms like “useless” and “mutilated,” but ground-breaking runner Aimee Mullins is out to redefine the word. Defying these associations, she shows how adversity — in her case, being born without shinbones — actually opens the door for human potential.

Barry Schwartz – Using Our Practical Wisdom

In an intimate talk, Barry Schwartz dives into the question “How do we do the right thing?” With help from collaborator Kenneth Sharpe, he shares stories that illustrate the difference between following the rules and truly choosing wisely.

Martin Seligman – The New Era of Positive Psychology

Martin Seligman talks about psychology — as a field of study and as it works one-on-one with each patient and each practitioner. As it moves beyond a focus on disease, what can modern psychology help us to become?

Matthieu Ricard – The Habits of Happiness

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard says we can train our minds in habits of well-being, to generate a true sense of serenity and fulfillment.

Neil Pasricha – The Three A’s of Awesome

Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome. (Filmed at TEDxToronto.)

Philip Zimbardo – The Psychology of Time

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says happiness and success are rooted in a trait most of us disregard: the way we orient toward the past, present and future. He suggests we calibrate our outlook on time as a first step to improving our lives.

Rick Warren – A Life of Purpose

Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, reflects on his own crisis of purpose in the wake of his book’s wild success. He explains his belief that God’s intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good.

Videos and descriptions from TED

Participation in society: necessity and risk to experience happiness

Mark_Wand_klein     By Dr. Mark Ritzen

Participation in society is generally regarded as an important condition for experiencing happiness. We develop ourselves in dialogue with those around us, within society. We are embedded in society; in a family, a village, a political system, a religion, a sub culture, a culture, a system of values, ideas, norms,……..

The society in which we are living (and especially our closest social environment) defines what we have to do/ how we have to behave and how we have to look, to be regarded as a successful person.

While growing up in this “social nutritive matrix” , we take decisions, make choices, let us inspire by others, exchange warmth, compassion, love, compete and while doing that we progressively find and develop our identity, our resources, our limits, our “value” in all thinkable ways. Furthermore, we develop dreams how/ who we want to be, who and what we want to have around us,….in resonance with our individual resources (given by nature and nurture) and as a result of inspiration by the surrounding society we define values, targets, goals, visions that are highly attractive to us (ideal-self),…We try to reach up to them all our live; we try to live them every day.

But what if we find out that we cannot reach them? What if there is a too large gap between our ideal-self and our true self. What if we have neglected our individual resources/ambitions/ nature and too much of our ideal-self has been nourished by society defined ideals?

What if our resources have other qualities than those needed to reach our (perhaps more society-defined) goals?

Can we adapt our goals that have been developed over more than a decade and that are in harmony with a specific social environment (for example our parental house)?

Can we accept other goals, which are more in harmony with our individual nature/ resources?

Can we be that strong in the social environment in which we live that we progressively live other values, more in harmony with ourselves but possible in disharmony with the environment?

Are we prepared to pay the price of eventual devaluation if we have to size down or adapt our ambitions within the social environment in which we live?

Can we support a feeling of devaluation until we have discovered that there is a lot of value in the new ambitions, which are more in harmony with our individual nature?



Too large discrepancies between a person’s individual nature/ resources on one hand and his ideal-self on the other or a wide gap between his nature/ resources and the requirements of the society in which he lives can create a very significant and stress-causing tension. This might lead to a feeling of disconnection with society, isolation, stigmatisation and even clinically relevant symptoms like low self esteem, fatigue, sleeplessness, restlessness, irritability, hopelessness, pain, feelings of insufficiency, anger, sadness, anxiety, exhaustion…..


Participating in society also means that you will have to deal with a variety of daily to do’s.

The quality, quantity and size of those daily to do’s changes in the course of time and varies between different cultures and sub-cultures.

Being an active member in society, taking initiatives, organizing a complex, rich and varied life, increasing your connections, showing that you exist…..that you live, causes a certain visibility that is often used as a measurement (parameter) for successfulness.


But does participating by “doing” / “showing that you live” also result to a feeling that you live?

Do we still take time for being in our daily life? Do we grant ourselves enough space to look, to hear, to feel, to sense,… to experience? Who am I, Where am I standing in my life, where do I want to go to?

Can we really meet people around us in a rich and profound way (“Begegnung”)

Can we really experience the beauty of Nature around us? Do we give ourselves enough space to experience the profound joy of being touched by art?


In the western world there seems to be an overestimation of the value of doing things. We are so much trained in doing things, so much used “to do” all possible kind of activities that we often tend to forget the importance of the experience of “being”.

The experience of “being” gives us peace, equilibrium, harmony and profundity in our lives. I think that the experience of “being” is one of the most important conditions for experiencing happiness.

While being busy all the time and “doing” things permanently, we might forget too long the importance of “being”. This unconscious neglect of self-care might cause a feeling of loneliness, emptiness, frustration; an incomprehensible profound feeling of unhappiness although we are participating to society in countless ways.

Since the early seventies, clinical psychology and psychiatry rediscovered in a certain way the importance of “being” for experiencing happiness and a large number of therapeutic applications, based on “mindfulness” have been developed.

Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.

Meanwhile, an impressive number of studies have demonstrated that mindfulness based therapies can be very helpfull in reducing stress, improving the quality of life and in improving certain psychiatric disorders (like anxiety- and depressive disorders) and pain.

In their book: “Mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world” Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman explain the importance of giving “being” more space in our lives. Furthermore they propose an eight-week program with several very nice (and easy to learn) exercises


Dr. Mark Ritzen – Psychiatrist

View his profile on Medihoo HERE

Inspirational TED talks on Fitness, Health and Happiness


1. Christopher McDougall: Are We Born to Run?

Christopher McDougall explores the mysteries of the human desire to run. How did running help early humans survive — and what urges from our ancient ancestors spur us on today? McDougall tells the story of the marathoner with a heart of gold, the unlikely ultra-runner, and the hidden tribe in Mexico that runs to live.

2. David Blaine: How I Held My Breath for 17 Minutes

In this highly personal talk from TEDMED, magician and stuntman David Blaine describes what it took to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes — a world record (only two minutes shorter than this entire talk!) — and what his often death-defying work means to him. Warning: do NOT try this at home.

3. Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days

 Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

4. Ben Saunders: Why Bother Leaving the House?

Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside! Not because it’s always pleasant and happy, but because that’s where the meat of life is, “the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days.” Saunders’ next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.

5. Derek Sivers: Keep Your Goals to Yourself

After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone, but Derek Sivers says it’s better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them.

6. John Wooden: The Difference Between Winning and Success

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

7. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.


8. A.J. Jacobs: How Healthy Living Nearly Killed Me

For a full year, AJ Jacobs followed every piece of health advice he could — from applying sunscreen by the shot glass to wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping. Onstage at TEDMED, he shares the surprising things he learned.

9. Jamie Oliver: Teach Every Child About Food

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, West Virginia — and a shocking image of the sugar we eat — TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

10. Mary Roach: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm

“Bonk” author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

11. Graham Hill: Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian

We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veg.

12. Dan Buettner: How to Live to be 100+

To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.

13. Daniel Kraft: Medicine’s Future? There’s an App for That

Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient’s bedside. (Filmed at TEDxMaastricht.)

14. Dean Ornish: Healing Through Diet

Dean Ornish talks about simple, low-tech and low-cost ways to take advantage of the body’s natural desire to heal itself.


15. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. (Filmed at TEDxBloomington.)

16. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

17. Meg Jay: Why 30 is Not the New 20

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.

18. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

19. Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness

Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

20. Matt Killingsworth: Want to be Happier? Stay in the Moment

When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We’re often happiest when we’re lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be. (Filmed at TEDxCambridge.)

21. Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

22. Paul Zak: Trust, Morality… and Oxytocin?

What drives our desire to behave morally? Neuroeconomist Paul Zak shows why he believes oxytocin (he calls it “the moral molecule”) is responsible for trust, empathy and other feelings that help build a stable society.

List put together by: Greatist

Text Source: TED

%d bloggers like this: