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Huffington Offers Wisdom On Happy, Healthy Life During Castle Conversation

Arrianna Huffington was the first of four "Castle Conversation" guest speakers at Manhattanville College in Purchase. Photo Credit: Manhattanville College
A capacity crowd Wednesday night at Manhattanville College's Reid Castle for Arianna Huffington. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Manhattanville College's Reid Castle, site of the first of four Castle Conversations. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Pause.

Take some deep breaths. 

Don't go to your phone the minute you wake up..

These are just of a few of Arianna Huffington's tips for living a healthier, richer, longer life that she gave during her speech Wednesday evening at Manhattanville College. 

Huffington was the first of four well-known speakers invited as part of Manhattanville's Castle Conversations. A capacity crowd of more than 300 filled Reid Castle. 

"The world of media has totally been transformed,'' said Huffington, president, editor and publisher of the Hufffington Post, which she founded in 2005. 

Despite downsizing and record layoffs in the news industry, Huffington called this "a golden age of journalism,'' since it has created new Internet platforms that invite more participation from readers as writers. 

"There's no question we need more local journalism, both to expose what's happening and celebrate what's happening,'' Huffington said.

At Huffington Post, she said, "by and large there is no hierarchy," since it prints columns from all walks of life. "You can write about anything. Any voice on any subject. ... People want to participate."

Huffington said her staff has been directed to place more emphasis on good news and solutions, such as a new section called "what's working,'' than on traditional crime and tragedies.

"All around the world there are things going right,'' she said.

During her own personal journey, Huffington said she discovered the importance of slowing down.

"How recklessly we're running our lives,'' she said. "We're perpetually running out of time."

People need to resist constantly checking their cell phones for messages, weather reports, even news alerts from HuffPo, she said.

"What is it that can't wait until the morning? We take better care of our smartphones than ourselves. ... Burnout is not the way to succeed," she said.

She said science is now supporting the notion of getting eight hours of sleep every night. Huffington said she installed "a nap room in the newsroom in the middle of a city that never sleeps" to make sure writers and editors at the Huffington Post stay rested.

"Sleep and meditation and renewal have been validated by science as performance tools,'' she said, noting that about 75 percent of health care costs are stress-related.

Huffington began her talk by making several self-deprecating jokes about her thick Greek accent. The college's sound system didn't help in making her speech more intelligible. 

Newsman Dan Rather is the next Castle Conversations guest June 24 followed by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Sept. 9 and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin Dec. 2.


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