just breathe

Dan Harris, the very same one you see on ABC News and Good Morning America, is on a mission to change our beliefs. We believe that meditation is hard. We believe that meditation is about stopping our thoughts. We believe that meditation is only for spiritual gurus and teachers. We believe that meditation is difficult and time-consuming and we're too busy and important to make room for it in our lives. 

And this is where Dan Harris tells us that we're wrong. In his latest book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, he offers honest insight into how much meditating can help with anxiety and depression, help lower blood pressure, and improve productivity. Although he's not a typical meditation expert, his co-author Jeff Warren is the kind of guy you think of with the word "meditation." 

With lots of honest stories from his own life and fancy illustrations that Harris himself drew, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics is the perfect introduction to meditation for, well, skeptics who don't like the idea of sitting still. Harris takes a look at all the reasons we have for not meditating, like that people would think you were weird or that you can't do it or that you might lose you edge. He knows all the reasons not to meditate, because he's used them all too. But after a very public panic attack, Harris started making changes in his life, and meditation has made a huge difference for him. 

Here's the thing: meditation doesn't have to be a big, scary life change. It's just a few minutes a day paying attention to your breath. All you have to do is breathe. And when your mind wanders, and it will, just remember to go back to your breath. That's all it is. 

But if you want more than just those basics, read the book. Harris is talking to us all about how much meditation can help. Even if you don't have panic attacks on national television. Even if you're worried about coming across like a freak. Even if you only have a few minutes a day. Even if you're scared. Even if you don't believe. Even if you hate to sit still. All you have to do is breathe. 


Galleys for Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics were provided by Random House Publishing Group through NetGalley, with many thanks.