Dr Oz: Dan Harris Live Panic Attack
ABC news anchor Dan Harris knows all-too-well how important it is to find balance in life. Harris considers the most embarrassing day of his life to be back in June of 2004 when he had a panic attack on live television. He was giving a news report on Good Morning America when his heart started racing, his mouth dried up, his lungs seized up, and he couldn’t breathe much less talk. He had to bail in the middle of his report and cut the segment short, which he had never done before.
Harris said when he looks back now, he realizes that panic attack had been coming for years. He got to ABC news in 2000 at 28-years-old. He was insecure and his way of dealing with it was to become a workaholic. Not long after he got to ABC, the 9/11 attacks happened and he volunteered to go cover whatever happened next. He spent several years in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When he got home from a long run in Iraq in 2003, he got depressed. He start to self-medicate with recreational drugs including cocaine and ecstasy, and it was enough to artificially raise the level of adrenaline in his brain, priming him to have the panic attack.
Dr Oz: Dan Harris “10% Happier”
After the panic attack, he realized he needed to stop drugs, but that didn’t help the “nagging voice” in his head, so ultimately he was led to something that finally led to his recovery. He went on to write the book “10% Happier.”
Dan joined Dr Oz and shared that after the panic attack occurred, he went to see a doctor. He was both embarrassed and scared, and went on to find out that 5.019 million people were watching when the attack happened. He was scared that he wouldn’t be able to continue his job.
Dr Oz: What Happens During A Panic Attack?
Dr Oz then explained what happens when you have a panic attack. Deep inside the brain there’s two almond-sized parts that are responsible for that “fight or flight” response. A chemical is then sent to the adrenal glands which can cause a heart rate increase and palpitations.
Dan Harris said he actually wasn’t self aware enough to realize that he was actually suffering from depression at the time. Harris said he believed that any success he was achieving was directly linked to his anxiety. With a panic attack, that voice in his head got out of control.
He was then assigned a story that he didn’t want on faith and spirituality. Harris said he had no interest in it but it turned into a great thing for him. But it wasn’t until several years after the panic attack that he stumbled upon meditation. Initially he thought it was only for a select group of people, but then he found a bunch of science that backed health benefits of meditation. That got him interested and “allowed him” to explore it.
He said meditation doesn’t stop the voice in your head, it’s impossible to “clear your mind.” Meditation gives you a different relationship with the voice in your head.
Dr Oz: How To Start Meditating
Harris said sometimes we don’t even realize the conversation that we’re constantly having inside our own head. To change the way that voice controls you, you need to first stop multi-tasking. Harris said it’s truly impossible to do, simple as that. Second, you should meditate, but you don’t have to do it a specific way. Simply sit up straight, comfortably, and notice your breath. Feel the breath coming in and going out. Then, as soon as you notice the voice in your head going crazy, start over, and over, and over. Repeatedly doing that can change your brain.
Harris created an app called 10% Happier, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.