10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For some time now, I've really been struggling with depression issues. Stress, malaise, the whole bit. This book was recommended to me as something that I might be able to relate to and get something from, and imagine my surprise when I did.
Dan Harris is a national news anchor, born and raised not too far from where I live. He had a panic attack while on the air after years of, well, not dealing with a lot of the issues he was having mentally. Resorting to drugs, more work, unhealthy habits, all of these things came to a head on national television, and 10% Happier is basically the story of how he explored the idea of staying more mindful and grounded in the face of some of his biggest mental health issues.
I got quite a bit out of this if only because I saw a lot of my own personal situation with Harris (minus some of his worst behaviors), and he was a fellow skeptic both of religion and of a lot of the sort of Secret-style, Eckhart Tolle-ish solutions we see paraded around on television and the internet these days. While I can't go as far as he did regarding meditation and the like, he was able to explore some of those concepts and find a way to get a little better, and we see the road throughout the book.
I respond well to this right now because of what it offered me, but for those interested in these sorts of mindfulness exercises or just looking for a story of someone who broke past their problematic behaviors and responses, Harris spins a good read in that way as well. I'm glad I read this for many reasons, and you might be, too.
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