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This is how 5 self-made billionaires beat stress

Americans are more anxious now than they have been at any other time in the past decade, research by the American Psychological Association shows.

Professionals are working longer hours, leaving vacation days unclaimed and worrying about family and politics.

It's important to find ways to relax, even if it doesn't seem like you have the time or mental energy to do so.

If you're looking for ways to squeeze relaxation into a jam-packed schedule, take note of how these five billionaires de-stress.

1. Bill Gates reads for one hour every day

Bill Gates
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Bill Gates

To relax after a busy day, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said he likes to read for an hour before bed, even if it's late in the evening.

"It's part of falling asleep," Gates tells The Seattle Times.

Some of the billionaire's recent reads include "String Theory" by David Foster Wallace, a collection of essays on the game of tennis, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight's memoir, "Shoe Dog."

Reading helps reduce stress and is associated with benefits including higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence, according to studies published in PLOS ONE and the Journal of Research in Personality.

2. Warren Buffett plays ukulele

Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett

When the billionaire isn't reading, he enjoys playing the ukulele.

He's not afraid to share his hobby either. Buffett has plucked the strings on live news in the U.S., in China and at a number of charity events.

Engaging in a mentally stimulating hobby like playing a musical instrument reduces stress, according to a study by the University of California, Merced.

3. Sheryl Sandberg turns off her phone

Sheryl Sandberg
Michael Newberg | CNBC
Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg makes sure to disconnect before bed, turning off her phone.

She told USA Today in 2011 that it's "painful" for her to do so, but she does it so she won't be disturbed during the night.

Though it may be tempting to drift off scrolling through Instagram or email, sleep experts say you'll have a more restful night if you stay away from screens for one hour before going to bed.

4. Jack Dorsey goes on a run

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey | Newspix | Getty Images
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey goes for a 6-mile run every morning, according to New York Magazine.

While you may not have time (or energy) to run multiple miles each day, squeezing in just minutes of intense physical activity is proven to reduce anxiety.

Research conducted at Princeton University found that physical activity actually "reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function."

5. Oprah meditates

Oprah
Jeffrey Mayer | WireImage
Oprah

The media mogul and businesswoman says she meditates twice a day, once in the morning and then again before going to bed. She's even launched her own meditation app, encouraging others to adapt the practice.

Research published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that meditation can help ease anxiety, depression and even pain.


Check out science-backed tricks to fall asleep when your mind is racing about work

Video by Zack Guzman.