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

Dan Harris
Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational MemoirAfter having a nationally televised panic attack, 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 propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.Eventually Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 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.


Reviewed: 2017-03-08

I gave the book five stars because it addresses the issue of meditation from the perspective of an average practitioner. My interest in meditation stems almost entirely from my practical self; I'm hoping it will, as Harris suggests, make me happier. And ten percent happier would be fine. I have read, investigated and benefitted from some of the more traditional teachings around meditation. That said, I found Harris's account to be particularly useful. In some respects, I feel like Harris has done a lot of the practical leg work that I would have done had I discovered meditation at an earlier age. As a result, I feel like I'm that much farther down the mindfulness curve because of his experience and all that he was willing to share in the book. It's just a very practical, but thorough, discussion of meditation and what it can mean to current-day Americans.

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