Dan Harris is a fidgety, skeptical ABC News anchor who had a panic attack live on "Good Morning America," which led him to try something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He went on to write the bestselling book, "10% Happier." In this podcast, Dan explores happiness (whatever that means) from all angles. Guests include legendary meditation teachers -- from the Dalai Lama to Western masters -- as well as scientists, and even the odd celebrity. But the show also ventures beyond meditation, bringing on leading researchers in areas such as social anxiety, bias, creativity, productivity, and relationships. The animating insight of this show is that the mind is trainable. This is what science is showing us. Mental traits such as happiness, calm, generosity, compassion, and connection are not hardwired, unalterable factory settings; they are, in fact, skills that can be trained. On this show, you'll learn how.
Strategies for Social Anxiety | Ellen Hendriksen
Taming Anxiety Series - Episode 3: As we move into summer and more and more vaccines go into arms, your town or city (or state or country) may soon be opening back up, if it hasn’t already. Some of us are ecstatic. A lot of us are anxious. (And by the way, those are not mutually exclusive. It’s totally possible to be both.) If the thought of large crowds or even small dinner parties makes your palms sweat, don’t worry. You’re not alone. (And if this was true for you even before the pandemic, you’re not alone there, either.) Our guest today is here to help.
Ellen Hendriksen is a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety and social anxiety and serves on the faculty at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. She is the author of How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. In today’s episode she explains how to increase your tolerance for uncertainty; how and why social anxiety has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic; and, what you can do to face your own anxiety around social interactions, especially if you’re in a place that is reopening. She’ll also answer some questions from you, our listeners.
In addition to this series on the podcast, we are launching a free Taming Anxiety Meditation Challenge in the Ten Percent Happier app, to help you practice what you’re learning. In this brand-new ten-day meditation challenge, we’ll be pairing a leading anxiety expert and a top-notch meditation teacher together to help you practice what we’re talking about on the show.
The free Taming Anxiety Challenge begins on Monday, June 21, and will run for ten days. Each day, you'll receive a video and you'll complete a short meditation. You'll also receive daily reminders to help keep you on track, and you can even invite your friends to join you. Join the Taming Anxiety Challenge by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install. You should be prompted to join the Challenge after registering your account. If you've already downloaded the app, just open it up or visit this link to join: https://10percenthappier.app.link/TamingAnxietyChallenge.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/ellen-hendriksen-357
Anxiety, Explained | Luana Marques
Taming Anxiety Series - Episode 2: Anxiety is very common -- but also commonly misunderstood. So today we’re doing a show that you might think of as: Everything You Wanted to Know About Anxiety (But Were Afraid to Ask).
This is the second episode in a four-part series we’re calling “Taming Anxiety.” (By the way, if you missed the first episode, with pop-star/Broadway star/sitcom-star Sara Bareilles, I strongly recommend checking that out.)
Today, though, we are diving into the science of anxiety with Dr. Luana Marques. Luana is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the author of Almost Anxious: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Worry or Distress a Problem? You might also recognize her from this show, because she was also our very first guest on the topic of Covid, way back in March of 2020, in an episode titled “How to Handle Coronavirus Anxiety.”
In this episode, Luana will explain, from a scientific perspective, what anxiety actually is; why it isn’t actually a problem in and of itself – instead, it’s our relationship to it that’s (often) a problem; what the "TEB Cycle" is, and how to work with it; the short-term benefits of avoiding things that cause us anxiety – and the long-term consequences of that avoidance; and how to handle anxiety-induced phobias, including, in my case, a pronounced fear of elevators. Plus, we’ll take some voicemails that you, our listeners, have submitted.
You can also learn how to actually practice everything we'll talk about in today’s episode by participating in our free Taming Anxiety Challenge over in the Ten Percent Happier app, which kicks off next Monday, June 21. Join the Taming Anxiety Challenge by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install. You will be prompted to join the Challenge after registering your account. If you've already downloaded the app, just open it up or visit this link to join: https://10percenthappier.app.link/TamingAnxietyChallenge.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/luana-marques-356
Sara Bareilles: Anxiety, Anger, and Art
Taming Anxiety Series - Episode 1: Today is a big day here on the podcast, both because we have a fantastic new episode, and because this episode is actually kicking off a series we have been wanting to produce for a long time, called “Taming Anxiety.”
Anxiety is a massive issue in our society. Even before the pandemic, it was on the rise. Now, the situation is even worse. Chances are it has afflicted you or someone you love at some point, on some level: maybe you’ve received an actual diagnosis, like generalized anxiety disorder, or maybe you’re prone to symptoms closer to panic, or perhaps you’re just susceptible to a bit too much garden-variety worrying. Maybe your kids are increasingly anxious. Or maybe, like me, you’ve got a few different items on the menu–some low-level professional freakouts here, some panic attacks in elevators (or on live TV) over there…
Anyway, the bad news is that anxiety is unlikely to disappear overnight. But the good news is that you can change your relationship to it. Hence this two week series we’re launching today. We’ve got two episodes with scientists and one episode with a meditation expert on deck to help you learn to tame your anxiety. And we’ve even got a free meditation challenge over in the Ten Percent Happier app to help you bring these lessons into your practice.
But before we get to that, let me introduce today’s guest. We’re kicking things off with a personal story. Sara Bareilles is a fearsome polymath: a singer, songwriter, composer, actor… the list goes on. She earned Tony and Grammy Award nominations for the Broadway musical Waitress, she’s got a new album out called Amidst the Chaos: Live from the Hollywood Bowl, and she stars in the new Tina Fey-produced series Girls5eva, which is streaming right now on Peacock.
Behind all this artistic and professional success is a meditator who is deliberately open and public about her struggles with anxiety and depression. In this conversation, she talks about: her history of anxiety and depression; the relationship between suffering and art, and whether meditation might defang someone’s creativity; how she works with anger; her relationship to social media; and we get an intimate glimpse into the back-stories behind some of her hit songs.
This is the first episode in our new “Taming Anxiety” series, and there will be an accompanying meditation challenge over in the Ten Percent Happier app. It’s also called “Taming Anxiety,” and it launches next week, on Monday, June 21st. The idea here is that you will be able to use the challenge to integrate everything you’ve learned in the podcast series into your neurons.
Join the Taming Anxiety Challenge by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install. You should be prompted to join the Challenge after registering your account. If you've already downloaded the app, just open it up or visit this link to join: https://10percenthappier.app.link/TamingAnxietyChallenge.
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/sara-bareilles-355
A Strategy for the Toughest Emotions | Bonus Meditation with Sharon Salzberg
Bring wisdom and compassion alongside difficult emotions by first calming your body & mind and then opening to the feels with acceptance.
About Sharon Salzberg:
A towering figure in the meditation world, Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield. She is a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Lovingkindness, Real Happiness, Real Love, and Real Change. Sharon lives in New York City and teaches around the world.
To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Letting Tough Emotions Be,” or click here: https://10percenthappier.app.link/content?meditation=2649944e-3c86-4237-9232-ddb9a2437925.
Excited about the Taming Anxiety Challenge? Download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get ready: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
The Surprising Upsides of Self-Deception | Shankar Vedantam
Anyone with a passing familiarity with Buddhism will know that “delusion” is rarely, if ever, mentioned in a positive way. In fact, the Buddha included delusion (aka: confusion about the way things really are) on his list of “the three poisons.” The whole point of meditation, per the Buddha, is to uproot delusion -- along with greed and hatred. Only then can you be enlightened.
My guest today is here to valiantly make the case that delusion -- or self-deception -- has an upside. Many upsides, in fact. While he concedes that self-deception can, of course, be massively harmful, he argues that it also plays a vital role in our success and wellbeing, and that it holds together friendships, marriages, and nations. Understanding this, he says, can make you happier, more effective, and -- crucially -- more empathetic with people with whom you disagree.
Shankar Vedantam is the host of the popular podcast and radio show Hidden Brain. His new book is called Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain. In this conversation, we talk about: the many ways our brains filter and alter our perception of reality; why we evolved for a robust capacity to lie to ourselves; and how his research on delusions has colored his view of the chaos and confusion of our modern world.
Are you excited about the upcoming Taming Anxiety Challenge? If so, you can download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get ready: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/shankar-vedantam-354
Chris Bosh: Making Your Inner Voice Your Ally
One of the more surprising lessons I’ve learned as an ambitious person is that perhaps the best recipe for success is... keeping your ego in check. For a long time, I subconsciously believed that you needed to be unremittingly selfish to “make it.” But after life delivered me repeated beat-downs, I finally got the message: sometimes what’s best for me is to focus on greater good -- on the team. It’s enlightened self-interest. (For the record, I am not perfect at this.) My guest today has also learned this lesson the hard way.
Chris Bosh is an 11-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, and he was just recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He says his proudest moments as a player came from defeating his own ego, and you’ll hear him explain how he learned to do this. You’ll also hear him talk about something that anyone who’s ever been born needs to learn how to do (given that we live in a universe where impermanence is a nonnegotiable fact): letting go. In 2016, Chris nearly died from a blood clotting illness that sidelined him. He spent the next couple of years trying to make his way back to the NBA before retiring in 2019. He’s just written a new book, in which he tells his story and compiles some hard-won wisdom. It’s called Letters to a Young Athlete. But you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit; it’s really for anyone who’s interested in excellence.
In this conversation, Chris and I talk about the difficult process of letting go of something you love; the in’s and out’s of his journey with his own ego, both during and after his playing career; how to set aside the inner chatter in your mind in order to be in the present moment; and how to play every game–whatever that might mean to you–like it’s your last.
Before we dive in, I also want to let you know about a special series of episodes we’ll be launching next week here on the podcast. It’s called “Taming Anxiety.” It will feature interviews with top anxiety researchers and a dynamite meditation teacher. And, as is our wont here in TPH-land, we’ll be launching a free companion meditation challenge on the Ten Percent Happier app to help you put everything you learn in the podcast series into practice in your daily life -- to integrate it into your neurons, as I like to say.
Get ready to join the free challenge on June 21 by downloading the Ten Percent Happier app today: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/chris-bosh-353
This podcast helps me so much. The Sara Bareilles episode was especially relatable. Thank you for all the good content.
Listening to the most recent episode with Dan talking with Shankar Vadantam was amazing. My 2 favorite podcasts merged into one. Wow! Great dialogue and made me open my mind to how to understand viewpoints when they differ from my own. Can’t wait to read Shankar’s book. Just arrived his week on my doorstep. Thanks team TPH!
I really like the practical advice offered on this podcast. Amazing! 👏