Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares 4 Points on How to Build Mental Toughness

Published 12/11/2023, 5:45 AM EST

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Arnold’s Pump Club isn’t your typical fitness newsletter. Besides traditional fitness advice, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares advice on mental health and habit-building. In a recent edition of the Pump Club, the 76-year-old shared four ways to build self-compassion. That’s because the newsletter claimed that self-compassion is the building block of mental toughness.

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However, the bodybuilding legend’s claim didn’t just come from personal experience. In fact, Schwarzenegger highlighted a scientific study that observed the commonalities between mentally resilient and empowered individuals. The study concluded that self-compassion helped these individuals in multiple ways.

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The newsletter outlined four habits to help readers build a self-compassion. Self-talk was the first pointer. While nearly everyone has a habit of practicing self-talk, Schwarzenegger advised avoiding self-criticism. Instead, Arnold Schwarzenegger asked his readers to practice “kind and understanding inner dialogue.” Instead of reprimanding yourself for a mistake, treat yourself like a “close friend.”

Mindfulness came second on the list. Instead of being judgemental toward your actions, the former Mr. Olympia asked readers to allow themselves to “feel emotions.” While many might bottle up their emotions, it’s detrimental to cultivating self-compassion. After asking his readers to practice being non-judgemental, Arnie segued into the third point: Self-care.

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“Engaging in hobbies, getting adequate rest, and maintaining healthy boundaries” are essential in self-care, according to Arnold’s Pump Club. However, just like Schwarzenegger has often repeated that there is no such thing as ‘self-made,’ the last piece of the self-compassion puzzle involves reaching out.

Watch this story | Here’s bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger’s exclusive training guide

The fourth point, support-seeking, involves reaching out to “trusted friends, family, or professionals” when facing adversity in life. Navigating challenges without support might cause more harm than good. So, how does self-compassion help someone become mentally resilient?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is an example

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The study found that people who cultivate self-compassion have a different perspective. While many people tend to seek comfort, “Self-compassionate people are more likely to set and pursue challenging goals,” the study explained. These individuals also have a higher tendency to persevere when facing obstacles and do not let setbacks deter them.

Editors Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell highlighted Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example. They explained that while Arnie often speaks about having a vision, self-compassion helped the Hollywood star achieve what he envisioned. Despite making mistakes, Schwarzenegger “didn’t let his failures define him.”

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Besides giving his readers the tools to become fitter, Arnold Schwarzenegger also wants his newsletter to help people succeed in every aspect of life.

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

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Facts over feelings. This has always been my approach toward bodybuilding. Bodybuilding fans are a passionate lot and defend their favorite bodybuilder at the drop of a hat.
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