Dan Harris On How To Keep Your Sanity Right Now
Today. We talk about election sanity or lack thereof, and he shares some great trainable mental skills and practices that can give us a bit of a boost right now. I for one really need it. My favorite new phrase is hugging the Dragon. You'll know why when he describes it later in the show now here's Dan. Dan. It's so great to have you back on tangled today. Thanks for me. Yeah. In preparing for this interview, I was looking back at an interview. You did. Let's see Sharon Salzberg Joanna. And David Gillis from the New York Times it was in two thousand sixteen and it was so interesting because you we're talking about the election and how is one of the most difficult elections? Any of US had ever experienced and we're told unlike Sharon's advice was not to catastrophes and to stay in the present moment and as devastating as things are right now I had to laugh a little bit because. Things did get pretty catastrophic over these last four years and certainly feel that way now and I wanted to understand from you what are you feeling right now and what is your advice as a journalist and also a mindfulness expert what are you telling people right now to keep their sanity while there's so many things say about this in no particular order, there are a bunch of things that I would recommend. To keep your sanity I call them the Pantheon no brainers, and notwithstanding the fact that I'm a meditation evangelist. A meditation fundamentalist. So I don't think you can meditate all of your problems way. I think in terms of having a holistic approach to being sane and happy and flourishing there are some obvious moves including meditation but also getting enough sleep. Exercise or movement. Access to nature positive relationships in your life having social contact, which has been deeply undervalued nutrition. Work or just meaningful even if your day job isn't meaningful, having meaningful volunteer work having some purpose in your life. So those are just some obvious science backed recommendations. I would add on to other things for right now one is titrate your news consumption. And I say this as a new professional and somebody who believes that we need to be aged and informed citizens who vote and who do what we can to advance the policies that we care about but you don't want to get so sucked into your twitter feed that you're useless. And then the final thing I'd say is that I suspect we'll talk more about this but we've been over on my podcast ten percent happier we've been. Doing a special series of episodes about a specific kind of meditation that in my view could be really helpful right now, which is a kind of meditation that was not a fan of that. I heard about it seemed very, very syrupy but a set of practices known as the Brahma, the horrors or the divine abodes that are basically training up our capacity to be loving. So I, want you to talk a little. Bit More about that because I certainly think this and there are four particular skills that we cultivate with those practices and I want to understand how you are using the practices personally to manage your feelings and also you have to be on guard with the news every minute ensure you're getting instant messages and phone calls and it's nonstop. So that's an extreme situation compared to the rest of us who have to titrate. Or reading the paper. How do you implement these practices to feel more sane in your day? Will let me just say about news consumption. Yes. I am in the Biz but one thing that's been really helpful I just turned off all my notifications. So if there is something where the office needs to reach me, they'll call me or text me but beyond that I'm deciding when I'M TUNING And I'm not here to say that I'm somehow perfect in that I never compulsively check. Van Bored or lonely or hungry or tired than I can definitely fall into doom scrolling or whatever it is. So perfection is not on offer here, but we can yet marginally better through just being delivered about it and just setting some boundaries I think turning up notifications is huge. And then also just using your capacity for mindfulness self-awareness to see like how's it going on our number three on twitter? How do you feel and using that as a good feedback for whether you should continue or maybe do something else?