10% Happier

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

Book - 2014
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Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality 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 bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, 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 expense of the present. Most of us would assume we're stuck with this voice - that there's nothing 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 something 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 happiness.

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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2014.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780062265425
0062265423
Characteristics: xvi, 237 p.
Alternative Title: Ten percent happier

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m
m0mmyl00
Sep 22, 2017

An accomplished journalist, a well-known TV news anchor, had an anxiety attack on air. His search for a "cure" and assurance that it wouldn't happen again, introduced him to the practice of meditation. His work gave him access to luminaries like the Dalai Lama and Jack Kornfield who greatly influenced and encouraged him. They were walking proof of the benefits available to one who adhered to the practice and its surrounding teachings. Ultimately, he became converted to the wisdom of sticking with the practice upon seeing its effects on his interior life. In the book, he details the questioning that arose as he ventured deeper into the practice, and his insights -- both from within and from his teachers -- as he figured out how to integrate equanimity and compassion into his highly competitive work life.
The first half of the book was about his pre-meditation life as a golden-boy and intrepid reporter; that part I found less interesting. Once he began delving into his experiences as a meditator, there were many parts I wanted to underline and read aloud to my non-meditating friends.

k
kahuela
Jun 05, 2017

great book, easy to read and follow, makes you smile on a regular basis! It was useful

l
lktuyen
May 25, 2017

It was an easy read. It doesn't touch on the act of meditation as much as I would have liked. It is great to hear what the experience of Dan Harris and I did come away with 2 things that I've been trying to apply to my own life though so it was good.

Riddlereads Dec 30, 2016

This is a must-read for anyone who is trying to be more mindful. Harris takes the myths out of meditation such as the notion that it's about "clearing your mind." He has a very down-to-earth approach that makes the book easy to relate to, and he gives usable advice such as starting with just five minutes a day of meditation in which you focus on your breath. When the mind wanders, you simply start over and return focus to the breath. He also helped me understand the difference between reacting to situations and responding to them. Great read!

j
janieflames
Dec 19, 2016

I enjoyed this book. It was interesting to learn what lead the author (a journalist) to meditation. There is vulnerability and strength in finding and using meditation. He tells a real and informal story about his experience. Many of us will relate to an experience like his, where burn-out at work or home leads you to try anything to relax. The thing that often works is meditation. The author uses humour as he describes the new-agey aspect of meditation gurus and ultimately how he found teachers and practices that work for him.

n
normf3
Aug 13, 2016

This is more of a skeptic's meditation story, rather than a how-to. His story about going to a retreat is hilarious. I suppose the gist is if a guy like him can get something from meditation, anyone can. I recommend also trying his smartphone app. It shows how simple meditation is to do, though pushing thoughts out of your mind can be hard.

m
mswrite
Jun 03, 2016

Not quite done with it yet, but I am liking this book a lot. ABC News reporter Harris's prose is literate yet wicked funny (Think Dave Barry on a slightly higher plane of consciousness, or something) and his insights make me think. I like his skepticism about a lot of the things I am skeptical about, and his willingness to reconsider his assumptions. (I'm working on it...)
There are commenters here who clearly expected a serious spiritual self-help guide and were disappointed to encounter instead the musings of a self-aware wiseass.
But this is exactly why I like "10% Happier." And Dan Harris. A lot.

o
Ollie
Feb 16, 2016

Medical practitioners are increasingly advising patients to learn about "mindfulness". If you are at all skeptical...confused...then this is absolutely the book for you.

It is a fabulous account of Dan Harris' journey through this subject...and surprisingly I got "hooked". He asks the same questions that I have asked and in my subsequent studies I often thought that I am so glad I read his book first.

It is obviously not a book for those accomplished in mindfulness or meditation...nor for literature majors....the rest of us...well, enjoy it as I did.

m
Melmango
Jan 29, 2016

This book was bloody awful.
Instead of being spiritual the author was constantly whining about his career.
I wanted to vomit every time I read the words
" my blackberry"

This was not a how-to book on meditation. It was a guise for the author to talk endlessly about himself.

m
MT60
May 19, 2015

99% a humorous story about one driven man's past and continuing journey. Plainly written and down-to-earth, though author seems to be vying for the "most humble" award. Still much value in this book for us non-celebrity folks.

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