The Daily Practice That Increases Happiness

Trick your brain into feeling more grateful and present by borrowing a method from one of the happiest countries in the world.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The daily practice that increases happiness

  • Stop overthinking your diet

  • Are today’s actors natural? Arnold addresses in this week’s Q&A

Arnold’s Podcast

Want more stories from Arnold? Every day, Arnold’s Pump Club Podcast opens with a story, perspective, and wisdom from Arnold that you won’t find in the newsletter. And, you’ll hear a recap of the day’s items. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Daily Practice That Increases Happiness

Being present is a good way to make the most of life. But sometimes, skipping ahead and thinking about the end can boost your quality of life. 

Studies suggest that if you want to live a happier life, it helps to think about death. 

Researchers have studied the paradoxical relationship between life and death for decades. Historically, it was believed that thinking about the end of life would make people more negative. But scientists have found the opposite. 

Not only does confronting your mortality make you happier, but research suggests it promotes better health and can lead to healthier behaviors, such as exercising more, smoking less, or using sunscreen. And you start to care more for the others around you and donate time or money to good causes.

The reason might be a simple reality: death is a psychological threat to your existence, and it forces you to become more aware of your limited time, actions, and behaviors. When your brain is forced to confront the end, you’re hard-wired to search for happy thoughts and take action to keep what you don’t want to lose (your life). 

While there aren’t any direct studies on how often you should think about death, Michael Easter, author of The Comfort Crisis, interviewed people living in Bhutan, one of the happiest countries in the world despite being the 134th most developed. They think about death three times a day as part of their happiness protocol. 

That might be too much for you to start, but the point is that acknowledging your limited time can help you feel better and make the most of your days. 

Pump Club Lesson #5: Stop Overthinking

Most health plans favor complexity over simplicity, which might be exactly why you struggle to see results. Need evidence? Research suggests worrying too much about carbs and controlling your blood sugar might do more harm than good.

The science of blood sugar is very much understood. Influencers will have you believe that any increase in blood sugar is bad for your health and can lead to cravings, energy crashes, and weight gain.

In reality, after you eat a meal, it’s perfectly healthy for your body to increase blood sugar temporarily. The problem is if your blood sugar is chronically elevated and doesn’t drop.

A recent study found that optimizing each meal for a lower blood sugar response increases stress and anxiety and can lead to worse dietary decisions.

The scientists found that people replaced perfectly fine foods with other options that could potentially increase the likelihood of developing health issues. The researchers suggest that some changes could lead to insulin resistance (the real problem), worsening beta-cell function (the hormones in your body that help you regulate glucose), or developing type-2 diabetes (which means you really need a glucose monitor).

The easy button is to focus on foods that are designed to promote fullness and nourish your body. Protein and fiber help control and lower blood sugar responses. If you include both in each meal—especially when you combine them with carbohydrates—then you’ll supply your body with the nutrients it needs without having to overthink every food you put in it.

Arnold Q&A

Yesterday, Arnold did his 31st Q&A in The Pump app. Here are a few highlights…

Are Today’s Actors Natural?

On Battling Depression

On Getting Out Of A Rut

A Chance To Train With Arnold?

Thanks again for being a part of the positive corner of the internet! We love this village, and we’re wishing all of you a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell