HR Books Review: ‘Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics’

Have you ever had a panic attack?


Okay, never mind.

Wait, before you go, take a second and watch a video of Dan Harris. He had an anxiety attack while reading the news on Good Morning America. It looks like he’s running out of breath. In his mind, he’s dying.

The #HRBookClub recommends Dan’s book, “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book,” as a partner to “Braving the Wilderness” because HR is an industry where self-care is important. We see the underbelly of organizations, and the emotional drama of the modern workplace take its toll. “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” is written for business leaders like just like us: stressed, tired, and in desperate need of a mental vacation.

What’s It About?

The book takes us on a road trip where Dan Harris tries to evangelize meditation, which is just breathing, across America. It may shock you to learn that most of us walk around sipping air through a straw or mouth-breathing like a teenage boy. Our brains are oxygen-starved, and many of us feel like we’re in fight-or-flight mode. The book gives you quick and simple lessons on how to breathe.

What I loved most about “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” is that it debunks the myths of mediation and offers uncomplicated directions on how to breathe. No yoga, no gurus, no patchouli oil. Just plain old breathing and compassion for yourself because you might get it wrong. No big deal. Just keep breathing.

How This Fits with Wellness

Bloggers try to sell you books on personal motivation and achieving your best. I think it’s premature to attack your goals if you’re not breathing properly. You can’t embrace Brené Brown’s work on courage and authenticity in a book like “Braving the Wilderness” unless you spend time quieting the mind.

In that way, the January #HRBookClub selections were a perfect pair. Breathe, calm down, and then be courageous. Take a moment, find your breath, and then be brave. Get your thoughts together before you intervene. Be mindful of your actions. What else can HR professionals do when times are tough and the office is on fire?

If you haven’t read “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” I recommend it. See you next month for February’s book club suggestions!

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