A Panic Attack While on ABCs GMA Led Anchor Dan Harris to Try Meditation & It Worked; Hes Hoping His Experience Can Help Others – SurvivorNet

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 4:51 pm


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Finding Release From Meditation

The fast-paced world of network news leaves little time for self-reflection. ABC News reporter/anchor Dan Harris didnt give much thought to meditation, until he had a panic attack in front of 5 million people while reading the news live on Good Morning America.

I noticed that my palms were sweating, my mouth had dried up, my heart was racing, my lungs had seized up. I couldnt breathe, which is pretty inconvenient when youre trying to anchor the news, he tells SurvivorNet.

Related: Survivor Champion Ethan Zohn Says Meditation & Mindfulness Helped Him Battle Lymphoma

A visit to his doctor revealed the cause of Harriss panic attack. Stress had led him to self-medicate with cocaine and other recreational drugs. He asked me a bunch of questions, including Do you do drugs? And I kind of sheepishly said, Yeah, I do.

Thats when Harris discovered the power of meditation to overcome lifes stresses. While it is not a panacea, meditation can be very useful, he says.

Meditation brings about what Harvard professor and cardiologist Dr. Herbert Bensontermed the relaxation response. It triggers the release of brain chemicals and signals that promote a deep sense of calm and ease stress.

Related: Feel the Fear, and Let it Go Meditation for Cancer Survivors

Benson and his team worked on that research for about 20 years to show the effects that [meditation] has on increasing the parasympathetic tone, decreasing the sympathetic nerve tone, and putting you into a very relaxed state, which has powerful other effects, Dr. Brian Berman, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, toldSurvivorNetin a previous interview. Ideally, meditating like that once or twice a day for about 10, 15 minutes will give you these effects.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Mariana Strongin, on the value of self-soothing during stressful times

After discovering the value of meditation in his own life, Dan Harris decided to share what hed learned. He penned two books: 10% Happierin 2014, and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics in 2017. My goal was to write a book that was funny and embarrassing and used the F word a lot. Most meditation books arent that way, he says. I thought it would make a difference.

His hope is that a dose of meditation might also relieve the stress of cancer survivors. His wife, Dr. Bianca Harris, underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer, so I know a little bit of what its like to experience that kind of fear and pain, he says.

How to find courage in a time of uncertainty

Meditation involves anchoring yourself in the present moment and focusing on your breath as it moves in and out of your nose and mouth. As thoughts flit through your mind, acknowledge them, and then let them go. It can take some time to get comfortable meditating, but its a gradual process, similar to strength training.

The goal in meditation is to focus your mind for just a few nanoseconds at a time. And then youre going to get carried away and you start again and again and again. Starting again is the key move. I refer to it as a bicep curl for your brain, Harris adds.

Related: Dont Buy into the Backlash the Science on Meditation is Clear

If youre interested in trying meditation, use this guided meditationcreated by Dr. Berman exclusively for the SurvivorNet community.

Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.

I noticed that my palms were sweating, my mouth had dried up, my heart was racing, my lungs had seized up. I couldnt breathe, which is pretty inconvenient when youre trying to anchor the news, he tells SurvivorNet.

A visit to his doctor revealed the cause of Harriss panic attack. Stress had led him to self-medicate with cocaine and other recreational drugs. He asked me a bunch of questions, including Do you do drugs? And I kind of sheepishly said, Yeah, I do.

Thats when Harris discovered the power of meditation to overcome lifes stresses. While it is not a panacea, meditation can be very useful, he says.

Meditation brings about what Harvard professor and cardiologist Dr. Herbert Bensontermed the relaxation response. It triggers the release of brain chemicals and signals that promote a deep sense of calm and ease stress.

Related: Feel the Fear, and Let it Go Meditation for Cancer Survivors

Benson and his team worked on that research for about 20 years to show the effects that [meditation] has on increasing the parasympathetic tone, decreasing the sympathetic nerve tone, and putting you into a very relaxed state, which has powerful other effects, Dr. Brian Berman, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, toldSurvivorNetin a previous interview. Ideally, meditating like that once or twice a day for about 10, 15 minutes will give you these effects.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Mariana Strongin, on the value of self-soothing during stressful times

After discovering the value of meditation in his own life, Dan Harris decided to share what hed learned. He penned two books: 10% Happierin 2014, and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics in 2017. My goal was to write a book that was funny and embarrassing and used the F word a lot. Most meditation books arent that way, he says. I thought it would make a difference.

His hope is that a dose of meditation might also relieve the stress of cancer survivors. His wife, Dr. Bianca Harris, underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer, so I know a little bit of what its like to experience that kind of fear and pain, he says.

How to find courage in a time of uncertainty

Meditation involves anchoring yourself in the present moment and focusing on your breath as it moves in and out of your nose and mouth. As thoughts flit through your mind, acknowledge them, and then let them go. It can take some time to get comfortable meditating, but its a gradual process, similar to strength training.

The goal in meditation is to focus your mind for just a few nanoseconds at a time. And then youre going to get carried away and you start again and again and again. Starting again is the key move. I refer to it as a bicep curl for your brain, Harris adds.

Related: Dont Buy into the Backlash the Science on Meditation is Clear

If youre interested in trying meditation, use this guided meditationcreated by Dr. Berman exclusively for the SurvivorNet community.

Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.

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A Panic Attack While on ABCs GMA Led Anchor Dan Harris to Try Meditation & It Worked; Hes Hoping His Experience Can Help Others - SurvivorNet

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January 19th, 2021 at 4:51 pm

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