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
10% Happier is written by author Dan Harris. It was first published on March 11, 2014. This man who is the reporter on Nightline & weekend editions of the “Good Morning America”. It’s basically a book of about meditation but it’s not actually a how to “meditate” kind of book. It’s his journey through make try to understand how to quiet all the voices in mind & to make himself less neurotic and just a better person overall.
10% Happier is a break from the conventional self-help book and a demystifies mindfulness. This book helps me out to understand what the “Default Mode” is and how we could prevent it from taking-over our lives. Default mode is the portion of brain that get-lost in thought. It ruminates about the past projects into future & obsesses about ourselves. It’s what we associate to thinking it’s that self-talk we experience as we go through the day. As though we are conversating to ourselves silently but if you notice to this voice long enough, then you understand it’s type of an asshole.
You see this portion of brain was developed for a time when we were constantly under risk. It’s the portion of her brain that’s constantly seeking out problems. It’s never really satisfied with anything that we obtain. In a viewpoint, it’s a monkey mind constantly reacting to everything around us.
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Dan Harris let this default mode kind of run rapid in his life. Dan’s an overachiever, a type-A personality. He’s a news anchor for ABC. He found realized getting depressed while he was very successful. Soon after, he understood himself getting very anxious. He started self-medicating and eventually he had the panic-attack on live TV. At that point, he went out to search for help. Dan started interviewing a bunch of self-help gurus and he found that most people were completely full of it. They had very little practical advice. But when came across Eckhart Tolle, he was intrigued, he was curious. He knew “Eckhart Tolle” was on to something and that his teachings will be useful to get him off the path of anxiety and depression. But Eckhart Tolle his approach to the mindfulness & meditation still seemed a little mystical or woo-woo.
Then he started interviewing some smart people, doctors, and neuroscientists. These people showed him the modern science when it derives to mindfulness meditation. This was very compelling, very black-and-white. It turns-out that meditation & mindfulness have nothing to do with spirituality unless you want it to. It’s a form of exercise for your brain. It’s a way to not get jerked around by the thoughts in your head. And it’s a method to enhance control over worry and the endless wanting we allow into our lives.
Dan came across researchers at Yale and found that meditators not only deactivate their default mode, their monkey mind while practicing meditation. But they’re capable to control this portion of brain when they’re not meditating. In a viewpoint, “Mindfulness Meditation” may help you to make a new default mode.
Dan says I might actually feel this happening to me.
“I noticed myself cultivating the kind of nostalgia for present, developing reflex to squelch pointless self-talk & simply notice whatsoever was going on around me.”
In moments, where I was shortly able to hang my monkey-mind & just experience whatsoever was going on. I got the smallest taste of happiness. I’d achieved well on retreat. He’s speaking of the silent retreat that he went to where he had to meditate for an entire week. But he’s saying, you don’t essentially have to go on these retreats to get benefits of meditation.
Simply, you need to set up time in the day where you may train your brain. Take 5 minutes at any time, then sit down, just close the eyes & give attention to the feeling of your breath. When you become attentive of the thought/feeling that’s not related to your breathing, simply let that thought/feeling go by turning back the attention towards your breathing. It’s simply stepping back from the torrent of thoughts for just nanoseconds at a time. It’s not about quieting your mind, it’s more about the number of reps you may do. The amount of the times that you may bring back your consideration to the current moment because if we’re trying to step-out of the river of thought that we’re constantly caught in. To step onto the shore and simply watch the thoughts pass by.
According to the latest science, when you do this, you are sculpting your brain. You were doing the reps that actually grow “Gray Matter” in brain in areas linked with self-awareness. Dan says you might grow your “Gray Matter” just as doing curls will grow your bicep.
The brain the organ of experience, through which our entire lives are led, can be trained. Happiness is a skill. Dan says.
Soon mindfulness meditation will be a no-brainer like teeth brushing or going for a run. In the 1950s, if you’d told people you were going for a run, they would have asked you who’s chasing you? In the “not-too-distant future”, if you complain to someone that you aren’t happy, the 1st thing I’ll ask you is why you aren’t meditating. Ultimately, “Mindfulness Meditation” is proven. It’s now to stay, Practicing, it won’t make you mislay your edge. It will make you sharper & less-prone to give in too distracting and useless thoughts. You’ll have the capability to turn your problem-solving mind on when you want it and turn it off when you wanna relax.
Mindfulness training will alter your mind to allow you to be in the seat of driver and not simply let the monkey mind run your life. That’s the core message of Dan’s book. It is super entertaining and highly educational.
“10% Happier” is written by “Dan Harris” who’s the co-anchor of “Nightline” & it tells the story of his life on camera. He writes his memoir in a fairly linear way but switches back & forth to some flashback scenes and it’s still easy to follow. He works his gradient through the News system which is a very intense environment to work in. And he also talks about his own time documenting the war as well. When he moves back towards New York City, he finds, he has suffered some PTSD and he deals with this by using lots of drugs. Then he suffers from panic attack though he’s on television and this becomes the critical moment for him. When he makes efforts to find how to an agreement with the suppressed feelings that inside he has.
By happenstance, he starts covering the religious portion of his news channel and through that, he discovers meditation which is what this novel is about. I found Dan’s writing to be really intelligent, witty fast-paced and interesting. This volume is really informative. Dan is fairly cynical, to begin with.
There’re many logical explanations behind it and that makes me feel to try it. We grow with him as we watch this journey of learning how we actually meditate.
Meditation in this example, In the novel, is where you sit for 05-10 minutes to commence with. And you make try to let your brain just focus on breathing. When a thought comes to you, you just kind of let it goes. And that is freaking hard. Try it for 5 minutes it’s so tough because you don’t realize how much your brain is chattering at you until you make try to sit silent & just think about nothing except for breathing. You even have something to focus on breath still so hard. The interesting thing is there’s the scientific information now backing how meditation is really good for your brain.
Download Links to 10% Happier by Dan Harris:
10% Happier is the Self-help book of Dan Harris. But unfortunately, it is a copyrighted book and we can’t share its download links here. But you can buy this book from Amazon. The link is given below.