ABC News anchor says meditation makes him '10% Happier'
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Dan Harris, a co-anchor for ABC News' "Nightline," talks about past addictions and explains how meditation improved his life in his new self-help book.
Harris' book, titled "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story," explains his journey into meditation and self-help to cope with our fast-paced world, reports Nick Bilton at The New York Times.
Harris began exploring Buddhism, meditation and self-help methods after he experienced a drug-induced nervous breakdown on "Good Morning America" in 2004, he writes in an ABC News article.
"I was overtaken by a massive, irresistible blast of fear. It felt like the world was ending. My heart was thumping. I was gasping for air. I had pretty much lost the ability to speak," says Harris. "And all of it was compounded by the knowledge that my freak-out was being broadcast live on national television. Halfway through the six stories I was supposed to read, I simply bailed, squeaking out a 'Back to you.'"
Harris explains meditation helped alleviate the stress that was ruining his life and can help people get rid of the worry-inducing voice in their heads that "comes braying in as soon as we open our eyes in the morning, and then heckles us all day long with an air horn," according to a "10% Happier" excerpt.
Meditation can also improve people's attention span, Harris tells Bilton.
"If you live constantly with your attention so fractured and splintered between Twitter, Facebook, your cellphone, your email and maybe a little bit of your actual work, your mind is constantly flitting between these things. Our brains are not designed to do that. Meditation can help offset that," Harris says.
However, Harris does not believe meditation is a cure-all.
"I still do dumb things — just ask my wife — but meditation is often effective kryptonite against the kind of epic mindlessness that produced my televised panic attack," Harris says in ABC's article.
"When friends and colleagues ask (usually with barely hidden skepticism) why I meditate, I often say, 'It makes me 10% happier,'" he adds.