Panic on Live TV
Every now and then a story comes along that wows me. It’s not so much the who, or what, or when, or where, but the human condition. Such is the case with a recent story on Huffington Post titled, “How Did Dan Harris Solve Anxiety Issues With Mindfulness Meditation?”
Journalist Marlo Thomas interviewed ABC News Anchor Dan Harris about his 2004 on-air panic attack that he had experienced in front of five or so million viewers. Apparently, he’d been so involved with covering action after 9-11 that when he finally slowed down, his mind was bored and he got depressed. He then turned to recreational drugs to self medicate, and it’s what likely caused his very public panic attack.
The Case for Mindfulness Meditation
After the panic attack, Dan decided to devote his live to resolving the issue, and that resolution ended up being meditation. While initially a skeptic, Dan started feeling the benefits of meditation in a matter of weeks. Dan’s specific type of meditation is Mindfulness Meditation: a “simple, secular, scientifically validated” process that requires little more than a place to sit and your own breath.
According to Dan, it wasn’t the drugs or anything else that really helped him, but simple mindfulness meditation. This is no surprise, but what is interesting is that he felt the benefits in only a matter of weeks! That’s incredible, and certainly not intrinsic to Dan’s experience, but to many, many others, anecdotally.
He gave Marlo three steps to meditation:
Sit with your back straight and your eyes closed.
Notice the feeling of your breath coming in or going out. (Pick a spot on your nose, chest, or belly)
As soon as you try to do this, your mind is gonna go “bazonkers”, so notice when you’ve become distracted, and start over
Sound familiar? That’s the core of pretty much every exercise I’ve been giving you on this site. It’s simple, straight forward, and quick to implement.
It’s not easy though, and there are many, many things that your mind will do to sabotage you. The mind does not like being quiet. The ego does not like being in the background.
So what do you do when you get frustrated? I know what I do, and I talk about it at length inside. It’s simply too much to type into a few blog posts that are looked at and forgotten.