| September 10, 2018

Podcast

Podcast #439: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

You’ve probably read or heard about the benefits of meditation, but you’ve never given it a try because it all seems a bit too woo-woo. You’re not alone. My guest used to be a skeptic himself, but after falling into drug use and suffering a nervous breakdown on national television, he gave meditation a try and found that it made him calmer and more resilient. He’s now on a mission to make meditation approachable for the masses — no meditation pillow required. His name is Dan Harris. He’s a news reporter at ABC who you can see on Nightline. He’s also the author of the books 10% Happier and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

Today on show, Dan shares the story of his nervous breakdown in front of millions of people and how that led him to meditation. He then takes us through the latest research on the benefits of meditation, including the way it reduces depression and anxiety. Dan and I then discuss some of the myths that people have about meditation, such as the idea that it takes a lot of time, requires you to sit on a pillow, and will cause you to lose your edge. We end our podcast with Dan taking us through a 1-minute guided meditation which will you give you a nice moment of practical zen.

Show Highlights

  • How Dan ended up becoming a meditation advocate 
  • How Dan’s Middle East war reporting contributed to his depression and anxiety 
  • How Dan’s skepticism about meditation turned into belief 
  • The benefits of meditation to our mental and physical health 
  • The various types of meditation — and what Dan practices, which is mindfulness meditation
  • How to give yourself more compassion, and the real-world benefits of doing so
  • How much time do you really need meditating to get the benefits?
  • Meditation, mindfulness, and feelings 
  • Advice for people who think meditation is just really boring 
  • How can you measure this? How is progress gauged?
  • Can meditation make you too chill? Will you lose your edge?
  • Is meditation really just self-indulgent? Will it make you preachy?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Dan

Dan on Twitter

10% Happier website

10% Happier podcast

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Coming soon!