13 TED Talks that can teach you how to live a happier life

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It's a fact universally acknowledged that most people want to be happy.

The ideal approach, however, is far more of a mystery.

From the beginning of time, philosophers and researchers alike have pondered how humans can achieve ultimate bliss, and thankfully, some of them have appeared on the TED stage to share their findings.

Some of their tactics are surprising, and some are surprisingly simple, but regardless, each of these talks will bring you one step closer to understanding happiness and how to achieve it.

Dan Gilbert's 'The surprising science of happiness'

The Harvard psychologist explains the fallacy behind the notion that to achieve happiness, one must get what they want. He uses psychology and neuroscience to explain that what we think makes us happy is, oftentimes, completely wrong.

"Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don't get what we wanted," he says. "In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind."

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Sheena Iyengar's 'The art of choosing'

Iyengar, a psycho-economist, debunks the idea that the more choices you have, the better decisions you make. In fact, she says, when you give people 10 or more options, they tend to make poorer decisions in areas like healthcare and investing.

Ultimately, Iyengar says it's important to understand that constraint can in some contexts be more satisfying than freedom.

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David Steindl-Rast's 'Want to be happy? Be grateful'

This monk and interfaith scholar's approach to happiness is simple: slow down, look where you're going, and above all, be grateful.

"A grateful world is a world of joyful people," he says.

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