Arianna Huffington Gets Candid About How Fainting Spell Changed Her Life

Image: Arianna Huffington Gets Candid About How Fainting Spell Changed Her Life

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 12:24 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Arianna Huffington opened up in an interview with her own HuffPost Live this week about how a scary fainting incident seven years ago changed her outlook on life.

The 63-year-old told the live-streaming Internet TV network that, two years into the launch of The Huffington Post, she collapsed from exhaustion at her home after having worked a series of 18-hour days while balancing a hectic personal life that included raising two teenage daughters.

The Greek-born media mogul said she passed out and hit her head, breaking her cheek bone in the process. Her daughter, Christina Huffington, later found her in a puddle of blood.

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"That was the beginning of the journey, asking myself this question: 'Why the success?' What is a good life?'. . . And realizing, by conventional definitions of success, I was successful, but by any sane definition of success, I was clearly not successful if I was lying in a pool of blood, on the floor of my [home] office," Huffington said.

According to Huffington, the fainting spell inspired her to reexamine what was important in life and to make more time for "unplugging" and "slowing down" in the hectic world that is the media. She even instituted "sleep sections" in The Huffington Post newsrooms in 2007, where reporters can unwind when necessary throughout the day.

As for what specifically prompted the fall, aside from her apparent exhaustion, the progressive journalist said that she first "thought I might have a brain tumor." But a series of doctor visits revealed that "what was wrong with me was the way I was leading my life. And what was wrong with me is what's wrong with a lot of people."

Huffington, who was born Ariánna Stasinopoúlou in Athens, Greece, sold The Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million in 2011. She remains president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group.

The journalist took her now-famous name from former California Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, who, after the couple divorced in 1997, came out as bisexual.

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