10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works

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Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, horrifying, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of religio and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a pointless adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his roblems was the very hing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his coac, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.

We all have a voice in our head. It ’ s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we ’ re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the detrimen of the present. Most of us would assume we ’ re stuck with this voice – that there ’ s whatever we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It ’ s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it ’ s thinkin he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and dreams.

10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America ’ s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.
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Publication Date
Published March 11th 2014 by It Books
Original Title of the Book
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
Number of Pages
256

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gave it

When I read the synopsis of this essa ( I listened to the audio version) I said, " OK, newsman, tell me how to be happier. " Dan Harris is an anchor for ABC, and in this tal ( which reads more like a diary than a self-help guide) he details his own struggles early in his career.

gave it

With my mind racing with mostly unproductive worries and nags, I 've been thinking that I should try mediation to calm the tumult and find 'flow' again.The problem has been finding a guide to meditation that is n't complete granola claptrap.

It 's harde to write about mediation without sounding like a complete asshole.

Preci Journalist/News Anchor, extrovert, and work-a-holic Dan Harris becomes intrigued by meditation, and seeks to cut through the hippy-dippy bullshit in search of something more practical that he can apply to his daily life.

Although Harris does n't become a Buddh, he explores Buddhism, and the ole of meditation therein with care, and ultimately decides that while the spiritual aspect of Buddhism is n't for him, the mechanics of mediation are useful to him.

From what I know of Buddhism as a whole, this is absolutely kosher ( though correct me if I 'm wrong) .I like that Harris clung to his misgivings about Eckhart Tolle ( whom he finds a bit too whack-a-doodle) and Deepak Chopra ( whom he considers to be insincere), and sought meditation practitioners and teachers whose practise is more deeply rooted in 'the real world'.

This is the ook for the everyman, and I 'd like to gain a more academic insight.While the tone was a bit too alpha-male and bro-ish for me, I appreciated the practical look at meditation.Bonus points for a relatively obscure Simpsons reference.

gave it

It 's ore of a boo than a ook about learning to meditate- something I do.

gave it

He is a charming guide on this search for a better pat and you will meet some familiar names and learn of some others who should be.Harris offers small bits on Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer, among other ABC news folks.

Harris covered a range of stories while on this gig, and met many interesting people, but was very mpressed with Ted Haggard, who, off-camera, comes across as a pretty reasonable sort, which was surprising.

But the business at hand is not just about getting a fix on people like Deepak Chopra, it is about Harris trying to find his way past his personal limitations.

He does a bit of a pinball route, bouncing among several of today ’ s self-help gurus in search of a pat to quiet the inner anchorman who offers running commentary during every waking moment.

The next step, of course was to realize that the ego was on camera all the time, offering a live feed, an internal, personal, and ess than wonderful 24/7 personal news channel.

He is definitely into meditation, and tells lot about the very real benefits to be had.

Of course, as a self-centered jerk, it is the self-benefits that get the air-time in his essay.

In 10% Happier, a term he came up with to explain the benefi of his mindfulness practice and stop people from looking at him as if he were an alien, Harris offers a revealing portrait of himself as far, far mor than perfect ( his meltdown, for instance, was made possible in large measure by considerable intake of cocaine and ecstasy), tells a stor of personal seeking and growth, and hares with us the very concrete techniques he has gleaned.

So, while self-interest remains the beneficiary of his new knowledge, and while Dan Harris remains, IMHO, a jerk, he is a urious, articulate, and entertaining jerk who has shared some useful experiences and knowledge with the est of us.

Review posted 11/21/14=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the writer ’ s Blo and FB pagesDan Harris ’ s vid on how to Hack Your Brain 's Default Mode with Meditation Harris 's on-air report about the book on ABCHarris is interviewed on Colbert

gave it

I often recommend informative-but-boring mindfulness-related books to people that they do n't often finish.

gave it

He next reads the work of Dr Mark Epstein based on advice from his wife on Buddhist practices with focus on meditation which interests him.

He builds on the gains from the retreat incrementally – all the time reading more and introducing more aspects in his meditation practice.

His meeting with the Dalai Lama is one such turning point where the Dalai Lama explains the ide of compassion for others – even on a purely selfish note you need to do good for others since it is very ood for you ultimately! As he makes significant progress in turning around his life, he still has many questions for which he often turns to Mark.

As he brings in the ideas of compassion with meditation in his life, he finds his relationships as well his work situation getting a lot better.Associated with ABC, he takes the lead in researching and broadcasting stories on Mindfulness.

That said, his overall conclusions ring true and he is certainly right about most of the literature we regard as “ Self Help ” .In today 's age, this is an superb nove to read.

You may just find that the secret to a right life was known long ago – hidden away in classics and practices which nobody bothers to look at any more.

gave it

Briggs is n't afraid to point that out.In conclusion, I 'd recommend 10% Happier to anyone who wants to become 10% happier- is n't that all of us? Also, anyone who has read Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra may also enjoy this, if only for the surprisingly accurate descriptions of their foibles.

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