Getting 10 Percent Happier

Major TV news anchor opens up on panic attacks and self help that actually works in River Oaks

Major TV news anchor opens up on panic attacks & self help that works

0-3 (1) NAMES at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Pittman McGehee Jr. , back row from left, Pittman McGehee and Jarrett McGehee, front row from left, Merrilee McGehee, Bobby McGehee, and Leigh Ann McGehee. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Dan Harris and Marie Evnochides at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Guest speaker Dan Harris and Marie Evnochides. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Melanie Gray, from left, Andrea White and Krista Dumas at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Melanie Gray, from left, Andrea White and Krista Dumas. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Charles and Judy Tate at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Charles and Judy Tate. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson, left, and Suzann Broesche at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson, left, with Suzann Broesche. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Clare McLeroy, left, with Pittman and Merrilee McGehee at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Clare McLeroy, left, with Pittman McGeHee Jr. and Merrilee McGehee. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Grant Hall, left, and Jarrett McGehee at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Grant Hall, left, and Jarrett McGehee. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Sally Avery at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Sally Avery. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
0-3 NAMES at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
J. Pittman McGehee Jr., from left, Debby Francis, Dan Harris, Judy Tate, Pittman McGehee and Lynn Baird. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
The crowd and venue at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
River Oaks Country Club ballroom packed with 500 guests for the Jung Center Spring Dinner. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
0-3 (1) NAMES at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Dan Harris and Marie Evnochides at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Melanie Gray, from left, Andrea White and Krista Dumas at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Charles and Judy Tate at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Carolyn and Jimmy Robertson, left, and Suzann Broesche at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Clare McLeroy, left, with Pittman and Merrilee McGehee at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Grant Hall, left, and Jarrett McGehee at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
Anne Mendelsohn, left, and Sally Avery at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
0-3 NAMES at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015
The crowd and venue at the Jung Center Spring Benefit April 2015

As co-anchor of ABC's Nightline and the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Dan Harris isn't the sort of guy that you would expect to have a panic attack but that is exactly what happened to the seasoned newsman 10 years ago — on national television. That attack took him on a path that led to meditation and eventually an evangelical spirit on the benefits of mindfulness and spirituality.

He shared his story with a sell-out crowd of close to 500 at the Jung Center's 29th annual Spring Benefit Dinner, held at River Oaks Country Club.

Harris' selection as guest speaker was perfectly in tune with the evening's honorees — J. Pittman McGehee, much beloved former dean of Christ Church Cathedral and Jungian analyst, and Pittman McGehee, Jr., a psychologist based in Austin. Both men are recognized for enriching lives with their insight and compassion and their efforts at encouraging all to live mindfully and meaningfully.

Chaired by Judy and Charles Tate, the benefit raised $220,000, which will contribute to the center's programming of classes covering a range of psychological, artistic and intellectual topics.

Despite the serious nature of his talk on mindfulness and meditation, Harris proved himself a talented and very funny raconteur, keeping the ballroom crowd in high spirits. His message on this evening and in his book, "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works," was, as he says, "taming the voices in our heads." 

Harris' audience included emcee Jim Reeder, Lois and George Stark, Emily Crosswell, Ann and Kenny Friedman, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Leslie and Shannon Sasser, Marie and Steve Evnochides, Andrea White, Lydia Dugan, Lucie Dunwoody, Patrick Dugan, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro and Lynn Baird.

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