Dan Harris

April 2, 2014 - Dan Harris 04/02/2014 Views: 21,940

ABC News correspondent Dan Harris describes how an on-air panic attack led him to begin using meditation as a way to reduce stress and focus on the present. (6:49)

[APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK. MY

GUEST IS AN ABC JOURNALIST WHO HAS A NEW BOOK ABOUT TAMING

THE VOICE IN HIS HEAD.

LET'S SEE IF HE CAN TAME THE VOICE IN MY MOUTH.

PLEASE WELCOME DAN HARRIS.

[APPLAUSE]SIT DOWN, THERE YOU GO.

ALL RIGHT.

THERE'S A FEW PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO MAY NOT KNOW THAT YOU'RE

THE EMMY AND AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST, THE CO-HOST OF

"NIGHTLINE", AND THE WEEKEND ANCHOR OF GOOD MORNING

AMERICA.

YOU REPORTED ON COMBAT FROM AFGHANISTAN AND MADE SIX TRIPS

TO IRAQ.

YOUR NEW BOOK IS CALLED 10% HAPPIER.

HOW I TAMED THE VOICE IN MY HEAD AND REDUCED STRESS

HOW IT ACTUALLY WORKS, A TRUE STORY.

I'M AFRAID THAT'S ALL WE HAVE TIME FOR.

THANKS FOR COMING.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: NOW WHAT DOES 10%

HAPPIER MEAN?

>> WELL, I SPENT A LOT OF TIMEIN THE RESEARCH OF THIS BOOK

HANGING AROUND WITH SELF-HELP GURUS WHO SAID YOU COULD SOLVE

YOUR PROBLEMS THROUGH THEPOWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

>> Stephen: WHY CAN'T YOU?

>> IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. CAN YOU?

>> Stephen: YES, I'M COOL.

I USED TO NOT BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME, AND THEN I GREW A PAIR

AND MANNED UP.

[LAUGHS]>> THAT'S AWESOME.

>> Stephen: MEN TAKE THE BADFEELINGS AND STUFF IT DOWN

UNTIL OUR HEARTS EXPLODE AT 53.

>> YOU JUST MADE MY CASE FOR ME.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THEIMPETUS FOR THIS.

YOU'D BEEN EMBEDDED WITH THE TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN.

YOU'D BEEN THERE FOR FIRE FIGHTS.

YOU CAME BACK, AND FELT THE STRESS OF THAT.

YOU HAD A PANIC ATTACK ON AIR.

WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE?

WHAT SHOW WAS IT?

>> GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPY ON GOOD MORNING

AMERICA.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT CAME OVER YOU?

>> MY HEART WAS RACING, PALMS SWEATING, AND I COULDN'T TALK.

I WAS HALFWAY THROUGH SIX STORIES I WAS SUPPOSED TO

READ, AND I HAD TO BAIL AND SEND IT BACK.

>> Stephen: YOU WERE EXPERIMENTING WITH

NON-PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?

>> YES.

>> AFTER THE WAR ZONES I GOT DEPRESSED, AND IN AN ACT OF

TOWERING STUPIDITYWAS

EXPERIMENTING WITH COCAINE AND ECSTASY, WHICH RAISES THE

LEVEL OF ADRENALINE IN THE BRAIN AND CAUSED A PANIC

ATTACK.

>> Stephen: ON ECSTASY, DID YOU HAVE A

PACIFIER IN YOUR MOUTH AND A GLOW STICKS?

WHAT DID YOU THINK -- HOW DID YOU THINK THAT WOULD HELP.

>> YOU'RE MAKING ME REALIZE I DID IT WRONG.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: THAT'S GOOD.

OKAY.

SO THEN THE LATE GREAT PETER JENNINGS PUT YOU ON THE RELIGION

BEAT AFTER THAT.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT RELIGION HELPED YOU?

DID YOU FIND JESUS?

>> I MET A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS AND WAS MOVED

BY THEIR STORYS.

NOTHING SPOKE TO ME PERSONALLY, BUT I DID

ULTIMATELY FIND MEDITATION.

>> Stephen: WHAT RELIGION DID YOU FIND MEDITATION?

>> BUDDHIST MEDITATION.

>> Stephen: AND WILL THAT MEDITATION BE SOMETHING THAT

HELPS YOU WHEN YOU'RE EVENTUALLY SENT TO HELL?

[LAUGHTER] YOU SIT THERE IN THE FIRE LIKE

THIS.

IT'S A GOOD START.

BUT FOR 10% MORE HAPPINESS, YOU'RE RISKING AN ETERNITY

OF DAMNATION.

>> I HESITATED SLIGHTLY ON THE BUDDHIST THING.

THE MEDITATION COMES OUT OF BUDDHISM, IT CAN CO-EXIST

WITH A BELIEF IN JESUS OR ANY OR NO FAITH.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS MEDITATION SUPPOSED TO DO FOR ME?

DOES IT HOLLOW YOU OUT AND MAKE YOU A SHELL OF A PERSON?

>> NO.

THAT'S THE STEREOTYPE.

THAT YOU HAVE TO BE DEEPLY INTO AROMATHERAPY.

SHAVE YOUR HEAD, LIVE SHOELESS.

NOT TRUE AT ALL.

IT'S SIMPLE BRAIN EXERCISE.

AND THE SUPER POWER IS IT GIVES YOU A DIFFERENT

RELATIONSHIP TO THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD.

>> Stephen: WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD?

>> THE INNER ANCHOR MAN JAMMERING AT YOU ALL DAY, AND

JUDGING, NOT WANTING, CASTING YOURSELF FORWARD INTO AN

IDEALIZED FUTURE OR REMEMBERING THE PAST AND NOT

FOCUSING ON WHAT'S HAPPENING >> Stephen: I'VE GOT A VOICE

IN MY HEAD AND IT'S TELLING ME YOU'RE GOING TO BE GREAT.

[ APPLAUSE ] OKAY SO HOW DO YOU MEDITATE

>> YOU WANT>> Stephen: SURE.

>> YOU GUYS WANT TO DO THIS TOO?

[APPLAUSE]>> IT'S VERY SIMPLE AND VERY

QUICK.

STEP ONE, SIT UP STRAIGHT ANDCLOSE YOUR EYES

SECOND STEP IS TO NOTICE WHERE YOU'RE FEELING YOUR BREATH

MOST PROMINENTLY, THE BELLY, NOSE OR CHEST, AND FEEL THE

BREATH COMING IN AND GOING OUT, AND EVERY TIME YOUR MIND

WANDERS, WHICH IT WILL,LIKE WHAT AM I GOING TO HAVE

FOR DINNER, AND WHY DID I SAY THAT TO MY BOSS, JUST CATCH

YOUR WANDERING, AND COME BACK TO THE BREATH.

AND YOU BREAK A LIFETIME OF HABIT OF WALKING AROUND IN A

DAYDREAM OF FUTURE AND PAST AND FOCUSING ON WHAT'S

HAPPENING NOW.

>> Stephen: AND YOU SAY THAT THIS IS GOING TO GIVE ME A

SUPER POWER?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: IT WILL?

WILL I HAVE HEAT VISION WHEN I OPEN MY EYES?

>> I HOPE NOT.

>> Stephen: THAT WAS PLEASANT.

IS SLEEPING THE SAME AS MEDITATING, BECAUSE I CAME VERY

CLOSE JUST NOW.

>> NOT A NEW PROBLEM.

FALLING ASLEEP IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE

MEDITATING.

>> Stephen: BUT YOU'RE A NEWSMANDO I REALLY WANT A NEWSMAN

TO BE HAPPY?

[LAUGHTER] BECAUSE THE WORLD IS ROUGH,

AND TERRIBLE THINGS HAPPEN.

DO I WANT A HIPPIE ZEN-LIKENEWSMAN INTERVIEWING

TERRORISTS SAYING DON'T WORRYABOUT IT BRO, WE'RE ALL ON OUR

OWN JOURNEYS>> THAT IS TO MISUNDERSTAND

MEDITATION.

MEDITATION DOESN'T MAKE YOU WHERE ANYBODY CAN WALK ALL

OVER YOU.

IT ENABLES YOU TO SEE CLEARLY WHAT'S HAPPENING IN YOUR HEAD.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN DEFEND YOURSELF STILL?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I'M A SMALL MAN, A PUNCH MIGHT NOT HURT THE ATTACKER, BUT I

CAN DO IT>> Stephen: DO YOU FEEL LIKE

THROWING ONE RIGHT NOW?

>> AT YOU?

>> YEAH.

>> I'M WORRIED ABOUT THE HEAT VISION.

>> Stephen: I'LL KEEP MEDITATINGAND WE'LL SEE HOW IT GOES

DAN HARRIS, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DAN HARRIS.

[APPLAUSE]10% HAPPIER.

TRY IT. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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