How To Reduce Negative Thoughts

If you tend to worry and it causes anxiety and doubt, research suggests a form of meditation can be just as effective...

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. No one likes to feel tricked, especially about their health. That’s why every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness with 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

  • Terminate negative thoughts

  • How to preserve more muscle

  • Are water bottles bad for your health?

  • It’s back

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.

Terminate Negative Thought Patterns

Do you find yourself worrying often? A specific type of training might be more helpful than you could imagine. 

Recent research suggests that practicing mindfulness could be just as effective at treating anxiety as prescription medication. 

The study compared 8 weeks of using a drug (Lexapro) compared to a method known as “mindfulness-based stress reduction” (or MBSR). At the end of the study, the group practicing MBSR experienced a 30 percent reduction in anxiety — which is the same as the prescription group. And those improvements were still noticeable at a four-month follow-up. 

The scientists believe MBSR is effective because it doesn’t focus on stress prevention; instead, it trains you to become more aware of your feelings so that your worries don’t spiral and lead to a loss of control. If you can become more aware of your anxious thoughts — instead of fighting them or feeling bad that you have them — you can disarm the anxiety, disrupt your negative thoughts, and feel better about yourself and more optimistic about the future. 

Several other studies have also found that MBSR can help with symptoms of depression and stress and improve focus and a positive mindset. But like any good workout, MBSR is not a quick fix. In the study, the participants attended eight weeks of in-person classes that lasted 2.5 hours per session and then had to practice MBSR for 45 minutes per day. After the study, the participants maintained their 45-minute daily practice. 

If you’re interested, finding a place that teaches MBSR is best. Or, you can take small steps by downloading apps that offer mindfulness meditation and focus on how you feel when you’re anxious or worried. If you can remove blame or judgment from having those feelings, that’s a great step towards controlling or eliminating negative thought patterns.

How To Lose More Fat (And Preserve More Muscle)

If your goal is to burn more fat, here’s a tip that doesn’t require any extra trips to the gym. 

Research suggests that prioritizing sleep can help you hold onto more muscle when losing weight and shed more body fat. 

In the study, participants followed a calorie-restricted diet focused on weight loss. However, one group was forced to get inadequate sleep (5.5 hours per night) while the others received a good night of rest (8.5 hours). 

As you might expect, both groups lost a similar amount of weight (about 7 pounds) by cutting calories. But here’s where it got interesting: the underslept group lost 80 percent muscle, whereas the well-rested group lost almost all fat.

This isn’t the only study suggesting metabolic changes from poor sleep. Another study found that just one week of poor sleep causes you to hold onto more fat and burn muscle. And it was not offset by sleeping in on the weekend and making up for the lack of rest. 

If you want to improve your sleep, here’s our sleep-upgrade checklist:

  • Go to bed at a similar time each night.

  • Get sunlight into your eyes early in the day to help set your circadian rhythm. 

  • Cut off caffeine at least 9 to 10 hours before you sleep.

  • Limit technology at least 1 hour before you sleep, and keep lights dimmer. 

  • Cut off food at least 2 hours before you sleep. 

  • Read, talk with a friend, or journal at night. Do something that shifts your brain into something enjoyable and away from anxiety. 

If you want to take a supplement, we don’t recommend melatonin-based products on a daily basis. Instead, focus on ingredients that help you relax and ease into sleep. Our go-to product is Momentous Sleep. As a member of the positive corner of the internet, use the code PUMPCLUB to receive 20% off your order. Or, when you get a yearly membership to the Pump app (and don’t cancel after the free trial), you’ll receive a $100 gift to Momentous.

Like any other habit, remember to start small. Focus on 1 to 2 changes at a time; once your routine becomes automatic, you can add more.

Hydration Is Great, Unless…

Speaking of healthy habits, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated. But the type of bottle you drink from could offer a little health insurance — or present an unintended risk.

Recent research suggests that plastic water bottles have more nanoplastics than previously assumed. 

Nanoplastics are minuscule plastic particles smaller than 1 micrometer in size (about the size of a speck of dust) that — in small amounts — are likely not to cause danger. These microscopic particles are now a part of our environment, including the water we consume daily. You don’t need to freak out because your body can handle some exposure. So, the goal isn’t to avoid them altogether (as that’s likely impossible), but you do want to limit the total exposure. 

That’s why the new study is so interesting. The researchers found that plastic water bottles have up to 100 times more nanoplastics than previously estimated. 

Some researchers believe the smaller the particles, the more dangerous they could be because they can possibly enter your cells, which means they have the potential to cause problems. That’s why some researchers speculate a link between nanoplastics, high blood pressure, or diseases like type-2 diabetes. But, it’s still unclear exactly what role they play or the threshold that the nanoplastics cause issues. 

If you want to minimize your exposure, there are two steps you can take:

  1. Limit how much water you drink from plastic bottles. Glass or stainless steel are better options. 

  2. Look into home-filtered water solutions. Non-plastic options are best, and you want a pore size of 1 micron or less (to help limit those tiny particles). You can find ceramic or carbon filter options certified by NSF to ensure quality and safety. This search function can help you find options that meet your safety needs. 

Long Sleeves Are Back

A few months ago, we went live with our “Lift Up The World” long-sleeve t-shirts, and they sold out in just a few days. They are now back in stock! The long sleeve tee is incredibly soft with 100% Egyptian Cotton and manufactured with a B Corp Certified supply chain.

Get yours and spread the word of the positive corner of the internet!

Get White

Get Natural

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell