The Microstep That Helps Arianna Huffington Thrive

The Founder and CEO of Thrive Global shares her go-to recharge strategy and the advice she’d give her younger self.

My favorite Microstep actually hits all of our Thrive Journeys because it’s about sleep, and sleep is the foundation of every aspect of both our physical and mental well-being. The Microstep is to pick a time at night when you turn off your devices — and gently escort them out of your bedroom! Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away to allow us to sleep — our to-do lists, our inboxes, the demands of the day. So charging our devices in another room allows us to wake up as recharged as our phones. And anything that allows us to sleep better also improves our focus, our connection with ourselves, our energy levels for movement and even our ability to say no to unhealthy food.

Smartphones have only been around for just over a decade, but several years ago I began to notice how charging my phone in my bedroom was affecting my sleep. And since then, studies have confirmed that even when we’re not using our devices, part of our minds are still subconsciously attending to them, or anticipating an interruption. Plus, the blue light our devices emit suppresses melatonin, the hormone connected to sleep regulation. So as soon as I started taking my devices out of my bedroom as part of my sleep routine, my sleep quality improved.

One of the features I love the most in our suite of products is Thrive Reset, which is based on neuroscience that shows we can course-correct from stress in as little as 60 to 90 seconds. You can create your own personalized Reset by selecting images, quotes and sounds that bring you calm and joy (here’s mine). And we’ve recently started bringing Thrive Reset into our team meetings, playing a different person’s Reset each week. Not only does this help us reset from stress and build deeper connections as a team, but it’s a fun way to begin meetings.

To help her reduce stress, I’d tell my younger self to not buy into the collective delusion that the necessary price to become successful is burnout and exhaustion. In fact, she’d be more successful, more happy, more fulfilled — and more productive — if she committed to unplugging and recharging. The bigger question, of course, is if she’d listen! One way I reduce stress now is by talking to my daughters, or taking a walk — or especially doing both at the same time! Both of these activities help me tap into joy and reframe any challenge I may be facing.

One of the things I find most helpful about both the workshops and the Thrive app is the way they support us in building the habit of mindfulness, of remembering to step out of the storm and connect with ourselves in the calm center — the eye of the hurricane. That’s a skill that we can learn like any other skill. And both the workshops and the app help us build that skill and make it into a habit.

I also like the community aspect and the storytelling by role models and others who are facing the same challenges we are. Storytelling is one of our most powerful behavior change tools, and I find myself endlessly inspired by reading about how others are finding ways to nurture their well-being and thrive. 

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