Stress Resilience

with Paul Campbell

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Developing resilience and managing stress requires two building blocks.

Paul Campbell

CEO & Co-Founder of bLife Inc, Director of Business Development at Microsoft

Lessons Learned

Sleep is when our body purifies.

You never recover from sleep debt.

Entrepreneurs need support from others who know.


Lesson: Stress Resilience with Paul Campbell

Step #6 Preparation: Developing resilience and managing stress requires two building blocks

The key building blocks for managing one's stress and building resilience: sleep and social. The sleep piece is when our body purifies, and when we go into sleep debt, we’re not realizing the short term and long term impact that we're having on our health and on our cognitive performance. We think we're getting more done, but we're not. It's very much an illusion.

Again, it's not a one size fits all. There are certain people, and it's like a Bell curve, there are definitely outliers of people who don't need a lot of sleep, but they're outliers. And they are outliers who, for any number of reasons, need more sleep. But most of us fit into the 7.5 to 8.5 hours we need, and then there are bodies of research as to when you get that sleep in terms of our circadian cycle, or our natural rhythm. But most of us need this sleep to do the repair, cognitively and biologically. So that's the sleep piece.

The other foundation and building block is the kind of support that you have around you, social. By “social” I mean people who really care about you, and who you care about. That might be the 1,000 Facebook friends you have, but chances are it's a small subset of those people that really make up that circle of ones that you can talk to, that can help you on that whole time perspective. They can hear you out and know enough about you to prod you into the moment.

Like when you're going to a gym, if they are engaged in the same kinds of practices, it makes it easier to keep you on track, because they can give you that nudge of support. On that part, it doesn’t have to be somebody who you know. It can just be somebody who is also going through something similar to you.

We find within a lot of communities the social support for new moms, it’s huge in managing the stress of this new life. What do I do? Will I do it right? You can ask all these questions of people who are going through the same kind of thing, and if they're all going through the same kind of thing, and then engage in these kinds of exercises that we just talked about, it can be very, very powerful in terms of creating a positive feedback loop.

Is there a community of people who are connected to you? And that connection can be they know you, and so they can, by virtue of knowing you, they can provide support and you can trust them, because you have a history. Or it can be by virtue of a shared experience.

If you think about the military, the military is another area, and we've talked a lot about sports, but the military is another area that's investing a lot of resources, money and expertise, in dealing with psychological health, because what they're finding is with all of the returning troops coming back, what we can do to help somebody physically recover is pretty amazing now; everything from prosthetics, helping people walk. Post traumatic stress disorder, all of the suicides, it's very, very challenging things. The biggest cost for a returning vet, divorce and suicide, these are all psychological responses that are triggered by just what they've experienced.

So they are trying to do two things in the military. One is what they call stress inoculation, so a lot of these exercises and tools that we were talking about, training the soldiers before going into theaters of war or combat, or danger zones, so that they understand how to do breathing regulation and meditation, and visualizations and affirmations. They are armed with that before, if you will. And then definitely when they come back.

So, the community piece, coming back to the community piece, is very, very important to have people. You may not know this person, but if they’ve gone through what you have gone through, they can provide support. It's that kind of social that's really very powerful in helping you stay on track. So I can see for entrepreneurs that are going through very similar things, just being able to talk to one another is an example of letting something that could snowball, not snowball by being able to connect with people that know what you're going through.

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