Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest 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
What you resist will persist
Hit the unfollow button?
Reduce stress by 68%
Want more stories from Arnold? Listen to Arnold's Pump Club podcast. It's like the daily newsletter, but with additional narration and thoughts from Arnold. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
What You Resist Will Persist
Just because we’re building the positive corner of the internet doesn’t mean you never have negative emotions. But how you deal with them is the difference between conquering your challenges or being crushed by them.
Research published just last month found judging your negative feelings negatively leads to less life satisfaction and a greater likelihood of anxiety or depression.
Scientists continue to find that accepting your negative emotions as a normal part of life is will help you experience them less often. The problem isn’t the emotions themselves, whether sadness, frustration, or anger. It’s your own personal judgment that causes suffering and spiraling. It's time to ditch the stress, guilt, and anxiety.
Instead, shift your mindset, stop fighting that something bad happened, and let the moment pass. Most emotions don’t last long; they only thrive because of shame and catastrophizing the moment. And that’s when the trouble starts.
If being positive is a struggle, that's OK too. You just can't be negative. The researchers found that people who were neutral about their emotions were just as healthy as those who reacted positively.
Social Media Detox?
Is it time to hit the unfollow button? Researchers found that approximately 60 percent of the most popular “fitfluencers” offer bad advice and messages that could negatively affect your mental and physical health.
The scientists found widespread problems ranging from inaccurate information to a lack of credibility (approximately half of the top fitness influencers don’t have any type of fitness certification).
Our recommendation: First, try to limit the total number of influencers you follow. Sometimes, too much information can lead to overwhelm and stress.
Next: audit how you feel about yourself when you interact with the fitness accounts. Do they inspire and make you feel better and more optimistic — or do they make you feel worse? Do they provide you with information, or do they use fear to drive behavior?
As the New York Times points out,
If browsing the account leads you to feel guilt or body shame, that should be an automatic unfollow, as research has shown that these feelings can fuel unhealthy fitness habits and undermine both the physical and psychological benefits of exercise.
If nothing else, know that we’ll be here every day of the week to deliver positive perspective and science-backed advice that you can apply to your life.
Instant Stress Reduction
In today's first item, we mentioned that shifting your mindset will help you get through difficult moments. But, we also know it can take time to make those mental changes.
When you’re stuck in stress and struggling to reframe the situation, here are a few science-backed recommendations that can help you quickly reset your mind.
Read 10 pages: Researchers found that 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. It works by lowering your heart rate and helping your brain refocus.
Brew black tea: Crazy as it might sound, research suggests that tea (black tea, green tea, and chamomile, in particular) reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and enhances relaxation.
Take a 10-minute outdoor break: Your environment influences your mood. Being outdoors and in nature improves mood, decreases stress, and lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
Other effective methods include talking with friends, listening to music, box breathing (taking 4 deep breaths and holding each for 4 seconds), and pumping some iron.
Remember, experiencing stress is not the problem. Your body is resilient. What you do with the stress determines if the challenges you face propel you forward or hold you back.