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How do successful people deal with stress to keep performing at their best? Business Optimizer takes a look at some of the great and the good’s favorite stress-relief techniques.
The Microsoft founder is a proponent of getting a good night’s sleep. To think creatively, Gates says he needs a good seven hours each night.
Gates also praises the power of reading, telling the Seattle Times, “I read an hour almost every night. It’s part of falling asleep.”
Sir Richard Branson
Virgin boss, Richard Branson, recently wrote about the importance to think proactively about a problem in order to seize the positive from the challenge:
“The other day someone asked me how I deal with pressure […]
Without thinking over my response, I said that pressure is a privilege – which really is a great way to think positively and proactively about any challenge. Learning to harness pressure’s positive aspects is a valuable skill […] in everyday life.
When we are faced with exciting scenarios and situations, dealing with the stress that they bring can lead us to be more alert, alive and attentive. It can help to improve our performance.”
The famous investor likes to play the ukulele amongst his many other hobbies – and has even performed on TV! Playing – or learning to play – a musical instrument is a scientifically-proven way to relax and deal with stress.
Michelle Obama told Marie Claire magazine that getting exercise in the fresh air is her favorite way to relieve stress:
“Exercise is vital to me — it's therapeutic. So if I'm ever feeling tense or stressed or like I'm about to have a meltdown, I'll put on my iPod and head to the gym or out on a bike ride along Lake Michigan with the girls.”
The Hewlett-Packard executive has had a fantastic career that also includes leadership roles at P&G and eBay and is a fan of making time for family downtime with her son.
Whitman extolled the virtues of fly-fishing with her son in an interview with Fast Company.
Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos likes to manage a stressful problem head-on. He has said, “stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have control over . . .
I find that as soon as I identify it and make the first phone call or send off the first email [...], it dramatically reduces any stress that might come from it.”
We’re all different, so what works for someone else might not work for you. The first step towards successfully dealing with stress is to acknowledge what you are feeling.
Once you’ve recognized those feelings, you start to experiment different techniques no only to combat but also to prevent stress and anxiety.