"I take eight hours, maybe as much as 12, and go immerse myself in a neighborhood that I know nothing about--see the culture, eat the food, drink the drinks. After three days of nonstop meetings in San Juan, I flew to Santo Domingo, where I hired a tour guide and explored for eight hours. I felt like a new person. It takes you away from whatever's weighing you down and gives you new perspective."

John Meadow Founder and president, LDV Hospitality (food and beverages)
No. 3,013 2016 Inc. 5000 rank
114% 3-year growth
$65.8M 2015 revenue

 

"It sounds cheesy, but I take a few deep breaths. Then I scan my news feed for a short article to take my mind off whatever's causing my stress to spike. That helps me refocus."

Brad Erwin Owner and principal architect, Paragon Architecture (business products and services)
No. 1,611 2016 Inc. 5000 rank
233% 3-year growth
$2.5M 2015 revenue

 

"Go outside and get some sun. The sun's rays have a calming effect on the body. Put a couple of live plants in your office. There's something about nature that automatically calms you down. If you can lie down and take a power nap for 10 to 20 minutes, or get in a dark, quiet environment and meditate or perform deep-breathing exercises, that can be a fast way to reduce stress. Change out fluorescent lights to full spectrum, or find more natural light. It's been shown in trials that fluorescent lights might contribute to headaches and stress. Also, try essential oils, like lavender, bergamot, ylang-ylang, or rose. Put a couple of drops on your hand, rub your hands together, cup them over your nose and mouth, and inhale deeply."

Edward F. Group III Founder and CEO, Global Healing Center (health)
No. 1,664 2016 Inc. 5000 rank
225% 3-year growth
$16M 2015 revenue

 

"I can run hard for 15 minutes between meetings and get a lot of value from that. The more I exert myself, the more effective the stress relief and the better I think."

Matt MacKay Founder and CEO, Surge (IT services)
No. 556 2016 Inc. 5000 rank
701% 3-year growth
$22.2M 2015 revenue

 

"The one thing I might resort to is molecular gastronomy. There's a puffed pastry that would usually take about an hour to make, but if you apply the right scientific principles, you can make it in nine minutes. It's a great exercise; I use skills I don't use on the job. I can come back refreshed."

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan Founder and CEO, Drawbridge (advertising and marketing)
No. 199 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
1,903% 3-year growth
$66.1M 2015 revenue

FROM THE APRIL 2017 ISSUE OF INC. MAGAZINE