National Stress Awareness Month

ABC News Live anchor Kimberly Brooks sits down with "Nightline" and "GMA" co-anchor Dan Harris to discuss mental health and mindfulness.
21:34 | 04/26/19

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Transcript for National Stress Awareness Month
Hello everyone and welcome to ABC news live I'm Kimberly Brooks thanks so much for joining us. We're about to delve into one of my favorite topics which is a mental wellness and I never bins so excited to have a stressful conversation but it's different today. Because we're actually gonna be giving you tips on how to manage it and who better to have this conversation went. Then be co anchor of Nightline in GMA and here is. Thank you so much your being here for I just want people to know why you're the perfect person so let's just remind my want to know why ever person. A New York Times best selling book. 10% happier and this is this is the part here at the subtitled how I came to my voice in my head. Reduce stress without losing my edge and found a self help that actually works a true story alone speaks. It's so it's like a Fiona Apple record titles like ridiculously low. Oh my dash OK so you've have a mayor reducing stress stress is an epidemic yes yes yes the talking about that. But there's good stress and bad stress me we Syria if you wanna do anything grade your career. Parenting volunteer life whatever you your got to feel some stresses certain amount of plotting and planning units and the involved. What I found really useful but meditation is a can help you draw the line. Petition is basically it's kind of us here is a set of skills that help you be more self aware. It can help you draw the line between. And useless room a nation. And what I call constructive anguish and is a certain amount a constructive anguish we're gonna and we need our lives that stress is not we can't. We can't we don't want to. Rule out all stress and by the way you will be impossible to do so anyway it's so I think who ought to do is notice when we have good stress and an act on that. To make us more focus to get us. Energized. And then I and then when we're in useless termination and were wearing ourselves that ourselves down with. An enormous amount us unnecessary stress then I think we want to let techniques to. Com yes. I would I would say maybe like five years ago even that's when your book came out was hit a can't some may be a little bit before that. I feel like the conversation surrounding mental health weren't really picking up announced today. Every one. Is talking about. Mental health you have all of these celebrity's coming out and being open about their bouts with depression and bipolar disorder why do you think where in a time right now where everyone can be so open about it. I think what's happening is the stigma is are just. Following the way they haven't completely fallen away and I think of the great. If they did. But we're seeing a really healthy thing happening here which is that people overcome more comfortable to talk about eight in talking about these things. Tiger cup calories for that one. On the meditation front there is a popular. Comfortable saying that they meditate is that there's an enormous amount of science that suggests it's really good for you and it's made it normal whereas before it was a kind of weirdo fringe thinking it's like Antigua yes. Eli went through the same type site has meditation. Yes the editing is where right now are in an epidemic us anxiety depression. Addiction and suicide and we've got a big mental health crisis in our culture right now and I think people understand that we need to have forthright discussions about it or. Things are yet worse and we're now at a point where. Very few people. Don't know somebody who's had anxiety here oppression or addiction or have been affected by suicide. And I think it's just forcing the discussion via the. Yet one thing I want to add talking about is the space that we're both in which is news there's this report that came out by the American Psychological Association that says. Muse is. I mean this is no surprise but it stressing people out the headlines. Man in particular generations the who is looking at all of these headlines that are about mass shootings and sexual assault but I would argue that it's affecting. Everyone so. I'm just curious how do you engage in the news and also keep your boundaries where you're not having that really terrible. Anxiety from looking at this everyday. I don't want to pretend that I am the be all end all expert about just give you some suggestions based on. That serve my common sense and also just reporting that done yet one of the things is. The stress is a sane reaction to some of the things that are happening in our world climate change mass shootings any mass shootings are actually. They've been on the rise there actually quite rare from and epidemiological. Its prospective but they can a lot of attention in the news and their horrifying. But climate change political polarization. Sexism racism travel as a tribalism. These are all big problems in our culture and it's it's healthy and normal to be stressed when you read about it. So we that's just one thing I don't want to demonize stress in the face of things that are genuinely stressful thing I don't think anything about his. The dosage how much news are you consuming. This is dangerous things to say as journalist but he really careful about how much you're consuming. And one of the issues we have right now is that this information is ubiquitous we have a supercomputer in our pockets. It's pinging us all the time when the ramifications. And so I think a certain amount of self awareness which can be generated through meditation yet to tell you when your in a Twitter hole after six hours of Reading Twitter FaceBook or whatever and your stomach is rumbling in your head is hurting you haven't eaten. Maybe it's a good time to wake up and put it down I think we need to be informed citizens but we don't want to drown you need either and there's known. I don't think some sort of magical formula but I think he really can be useful to have a certain amount of self awareness to see. When perhaps you're overdoing it and again that's violent meditation so much it's this tool that wakes you up. Two year run like in her life. So that your emotions and and thoughts and and and feelings about various things are yanking around all the which is the way we most of us exist. Am I want to talk to you about the self awareness aspects because. Some people don't recognize those signs as they need to like limit consumption you know and uses energy. You're taking it in an if it's toxic than they can have some sort of you know impact on your body may be feeling like a headache Horry as you said your hungrier whatever it is or irritable but how are you able to recognize that those things are associated. Like my my anxiety is stemming from this the way I feel is connected to what I'm consuming howdy put those pieces together. Often it's multi effect Tauriello right we went there are a lot of things in the world that are stressing us out of Medicare student loans it might be our relationship with our significant other -- your relationship with their parents. In May be there were overdoing it on news it may be that we're getting no exposure to nature. It may be that reckoning up exercise or sleep. And mental well being is. Two we sort of know. What what the things are we need to management comes to mental well being and I think we just have to be aware of what they are and go for it. And unknowingly they're all the things are parents told you need to do EDS net sleeping need to eat well you need to exercise. It's important have healthy relationships in your life it's important I have meaningful work and meaningful stopped liking could be. That's a religious or spiritual life or connection to cause that's greater than you. And also and how positive relationship there people. And if you're so stuck with your nose in your phone all day. There's pretty good chance your neglecting a lot of those things I don't think it's a coincidence that we're seeing these incredible. Numbers. Stress and anxiety in a time when we're also doing a global unregulated science experiment when their brains through these phones. Absolutely so when they want to ask you about is the term self care because everything that you're listening it's a holistic situation here is not just one thing that's right it's a lot of different things. When you yourself care what does it mean when you hearing I think he's doing a bunch of very obvious things to make sure that your healthy. And and make it goes back to that list has given you before. There is and I would add meditation that list I would add psychotherapy if you if his I think that can be really helpful it's not a must if you think you know who go for. Medication if your doctor recommends it. There is no whole list there's not super along. Maybe ten things that are pretty obvious kind of a pantheon of no prisoners that don't have to be difficult to know they don't have to be difficult or expensive. They you should just keep an eye on. And wait if you notice that your out of whack just take a look at the basic things we know we need to do in order to that that human beings need to do in order to stay healthy. And try to make sure your check in those boxes you know set IA Eddie you're right that self care is a bit of this kind of become a cliche but of all the cliches. I'm I'm glad this one exist and I really think. That people ought to be keeping their eye on the stuff. Let's talk about pharma is he OK so fear a missing out something that. Is that you have things going on Nina can't really figure out how to not do everything patty how do you solve that. Issue. Its first off I don't want you beat yourself up it's totally natural and it's put on steroids. When you have social media. Yeah and a friend of mine has described. Social media as you go teaching powder you look at it and you're looking and other people's curator of lives and they're telling you about. Some award they just one or some beautiful baby they just produced or they just got married and you're not invited or there are some great vacation and you can afford it and you see this and you go into what. In meditation circles we call comparing mind you're comparing your life to other people which is a painful state to be so let me make a radical suggestion. Delete the apps from your phone I'm not saying elite and the ramp that leads to grand flea Twitter Italy FaceBook I'm not saying never use them. I'm saying recognize. That they put you in the state of mind that is painful. And you take your power back so if you want to be checking Twitter once in awhile checking on your desk that. If you wanna post if insurance program. Download on your phone post the picture deleted. That's what I do yet and I found it to be incredibly powerful because I too like any other normal human being. Get sucked into these very powerfully designed yes. Apps and so I'm stuck in an endless scroll because by there was no ends of the scroll. Two and I'm looking at what was Burton get beginning somebody likes and what wise this person getting so many RT's. Senator woke up to the fact that. This is a painful state to be in yet there other ways to use my time that will be more advantageous when Chile in a self awareness come yes that's eggs that's the root of everything I talk about yet he's just having an inner telescope that allows you to see. And yet does this feel good no it doesn't have it so let's stop doing that because we're aware that these programs are created by people who were really Smart and have a lot of resources. And designed to hook you hope you. You can unhook yourself and use it for what it's good for which is may be getting your message out about things check in on what your nieces and nephews look like. Here of some latest party was being organized but you don't mediate sucked into it endlessly. One thing I do is I haven't the lead at the app. But it's just following a few accounts that actually make me feel good when you're looking at them that maybe there you know it's just a less. Yes like I'm a minimalist so everything has just less than everything I think that that's really powerful. I think he can do that or if you're like mean you have a powerfully addictive personality. And you'd be just tempted just check it randomly. And for and that Lance. For me it's been useful to the lead. So another thing impacting millennial don't want to talk about work culture and in the idea of saying no because a lot of people in this generation they're working hard. A they're working long hours they're trying to get ahead it climb up some latter of some sort. And if they're not able to. Do all those things on that checklist you mentioned like proper sleep whenever because they feel like they can't. Say no so what do you say to that. Well first of all you don't have to do everything and had the second thing you know a's it's OK to feel that sometimes end up and we all do because life is mostly out of our control. And it's stressful things are gonna happen to you and you don't I think it's not and instructive to beat yourself up for feeling that stress. And terms of saying no I think you have to make some Smart decisions if you're an abusive sits in an abusive situation where we're your bosses. Telling you to work hours that are completely unacceptable that I think you ought to. Take a look at me he has switching jobs yes no job and should be asking you to do things consistently. That make you unhealthy. Yes I agree with you and you didn't say it in these words but I think there's a level of compassion for yourself. That goes along with all of this because it's not about being right are perfect all the time it's about. Compassion right like understanding that your human. The it. I think there's an enormous amount of dias utility in other words the eight period it makes very little sense to engage in shame. Opt shaming yourself because that so many people do fine idea yet. I do I mean. But actually to realize to refrain that moment of like actually. Maybe there's are good reason to be stressed the media excess stress can up your game. Because stress have been shown to prepare you for action. And or me. Or maybe the stress is an important signal because you're being asked to do something that's inappropriate or you've put too much on your plate you need to reorganize the way your day is structured. And I don't think. Beating ourselves up is that useful. Silber. Self reflection does make sense that he did dent in needs to be done from our perspective. A certain amount of kindness and I can sound pretty Dewey and annoying but especially for somebody like me who is rather sarcastic. It's it's taking a long time to come around to this. Except in what was allowed me to come around to it as one there's a lot of science shows that it makes people more resilient and more effective and to. I had essentially like everybody have and ambitious have a desire to be happy and successful. If this is the way to do it I'm on board when we talk about solutions for all of these problems it seems like your main solution is meditation. That's the thing I know the most about but I want him and when I know we're gonna talk about it but I want to be clear. IA really do not believe there are silver bullets and it's like oh my book 10% happier that there is no one things I yes I'm very pro meditation you can also talk to your pastor. Or your mom or your friends. In the area they can play in their don't have as much training. But they have they can play the role of helping you get all of these thoughts there are swirling in your head. Out there into the world and you can look at them with some distance and that's really are so self. Awareness community and then taking care of yourself us. Meditation if you needed but there's a wide variety of options that yes are right so you promised people on your your tweet that you would take questions so we have a few of these or Twitter question that people wrote and you're gonna answer them I will a case so TJ mantle he said how do you avoid medication fatigue. Meaning after about a year or so practicing with guided meditations do you increase it if you billion planed out or do you try a new method to reach a new level. There are lots of ways to go here so if you is not uncommon for people to start entertaining it really cited about it and they in they go. In ago and they go and then they hit. Like some sort of plateau and they stirred. Doubting is this working or. It to a need to do more to a need to do less and my answer is I think it's that's a time to experiment so maybe trying to go up 510 minutes a day if that's something you think you can do. Yes you have trouble go back down I think it's all about kind of tinkering with it and but meditation fatigue is not totally unusual. One more question from the people who. I reached out to you on Twitter this person rammed head said I'm wondering if you're aware of any research done with students and mine illness or meditation especially. Elementary students it seems like it would be good. I don't know the science chapter and verse but there's been some good science. Early stages but good science Don the impact of meditation on. Students and the early results seem very positive since been shown help with things like focusing. And test scores. Behavior and and this is being done in many schools across the country it's being done in juvenile halls Foster care homes. It's really catching on in and pop in the youth population I think that's. Incredibly positive. Self. Finally day and I am really excited about this year fifth anniversary edition of your book has guided meditation has so why don't we ended with a planet that we can do a short version here. I don't know how many minutes those other 22 minutes yet you have a lot China. I have I have there. Should there too big misconceptions about meditation one is that it's some big elaborate things can take you the kind of time. Not true we're all busy and one of my little Montrose is one minute counts and so I don't and it. Yes astle having meditation app also helped him present there were a lot of one minute meditations on there so. Absolutely one minute counts. The other big misconception about meditation is that you have to clear your mind. Clear your mind isn't possible and Lester enlightened or you have died not trying to lag it think that. It's super comment yet and it's a really pernicious misconception because. He. Everybody knows on some level that the they can't clear their own mind as therefore they think this things impossible might be good for other people but I can't do it. And that as you'll see as I walk you through this very quickly. The the goal here is not to clear your mind it's to focus your mind campaign for nano seconds at a time. And you'll very quickly get distracted and in the whole goal is when you get distracted to start again and again and again and again and it's the starting again. That is like a biceps curls her for it that's meditation yet so you know trying to reach some magical state is trying to focus. Usually in the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and then start again and it's been like chain for you. Yes and I'll explain how to Seneca parents Osgood OK so. Two minutes first step is to sits. In a reasonably quiet place it's a sprinkle and it's pretty black and likeness. I have to close your eyes at hand and keep your spine reasonably straight and you know. To be enough to overdo it that this is this can fend off and on want to nap. It's that's the first step spy reasonably straight eyes closed. Second step is bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out. See you have to breathe in a special way you're reading anyway to try to bring your attention to spot where your breath as most prominent easily that's your belly. Or your chest or your nose. And you're not thinking about your breath you doing this rather radical thing of just feeling the Rath data of the physical sensations. Maybe feel the air coming in your nostrils and I'm going out. No doubt by this point you noticed that your mind is fully out of your control you're having all these random. Where did journals run wild. Let us liberties only marry other celebrities. And without thinking that what kind of bird is big bird whatever the whole point is just a notice you become distracted. And to start again. Bring your attention back your breath. Maybe a little places there for a nano second or two. Thoughtful come rushing back and it's totally fine. Ball game is just to notice. I act extracted. And then back to the Brett and this is the actress. Why is that so important. To be able to see that your mind is editor control. Because when you're not meditating when you overtaken by anger. Or fear. Boredom. You're not yanked around but when you see how crazy war that craziness has less of a chance of owning you and that's what we're teaching are here. I just a few seconds more. Doing great Kimberly and when you're ready you can when your way back into the room. News meditated we didn't need a defibrillator. Survived it. I like it ABC my point so yeah it's really just about you folks trying to focus on your breath. You're gonna get distracted a million times and just a noticeable yet. I'm thinking oh he's random thoughts and having these emotions it's cool. Blowing a kiss and then bring your attention back to your breath and overtime with that generates is a kind of self awareness known as mine on this. Which allows me to see that you're having all of these thoughts and urges and impulses and emotions and you don't have to be owned by them. Game changing certain rights deaths. And I can only say thank you that feeling when got to say is thank you wrestler is so awesome I really appreciate you being here. And you guys have been watching ABC news lives we'll see you next time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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