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Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his simple rule on how to deal with stress (Photo: Instagram)

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s got a heart of gold. Having scaled great heights professionally, the world’s most famous bodybuilder is still a well-rounded human.
When fans reach out to him, seeking his intervention or his guidance on wellness issues or muscle-building, the Hollywood hunk tries to reply.
Here’s how he shared a basic ground rule he follows when it comes to dealing with stress in his life.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is born in the month before India (having overthrown the British colonisers) became an independent sovereign republic. In the time since then, this Austrian-American bodybuilder took the world by a storm by becoming a world champion bodybuilder, Hollywood action hero, successful businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, best-selling author, and California’s 38th Governor.

Even today, as one of his sons – Joseph Baena points out – rare is the gym anywhere in the world that does not have a picture of a young Mr Olympia winner Arnold striking a pose with muscles flexed.

Arnold is known to connect with youngsters and even share tips on how to get the best out of themselves.

One thing at a time:

In his newsletter, while responding to a fan’s question about how he handles stress, Schwarzenegger elaborated on how he focuses on what is at hand and gets things out of his way, one by one.

“I focus on one thing at a time,” he wrote. “For instance, while I am writing this newsletter, my friends showed up to start reading my TV scripts and go on a bike ride. I told them to please go to the other room and play chess. I don’t want to be thinking about going to the gym on our bikes or rehearsing my scripts. I am thinking about my newsletter right now, and that’s it and that’s all. Then I will go on a bike ride to the gym and I won’t think about all of you. Then I will rehearse, and I won’t think about the gym.”

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“Don’t try to solve every problem at once,” he continued. “Split things up into what you can conquer, and then move into the next thing.”

The newsletters are a regular way for Schwarzenegger to connect with his fans. In one such newsletter in January, he dealt with the concern that many people lose motivation to exercise after the first few days of January. He elaborated on how he stays motivated and energised in both his working life and his physical training. “You are not a failure unless you completely give up,” he said on the subject of building new habits and sticking to resolutions. “So as you hit the wall and think about giving up, think back to the reason you wanted to change.”

On his Instagram handle, he wrote: “I love stopping on my 12-mile bike rides to enjoy some of my fantastic memories. When I ride by the original Gold’s where we shot Pumping Iron in 1975, I can almost hear the weights clanging around and smell the sweat. I can feel the joy of the friendships I built here. It’s so important to remember where you came from, and all of the people who helped you along the way.”

Not just the newsletter, the Terminator actor also touches many hearts by responding to social media chats when someone is seen walking a perilous path. One such story has been recounted by BBC in a blog post from 2018.

The report mentioned how a social media exchange between Arnold Schwarzenegger and a man suffering from depression had gone viral online. Ali, who lives in Quebec, Canada, told the BBC: “I was just lying in bed and feeling down when I decided to send the message. I had been feeling bad for about three months.”

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The young man had written to the Kindergarten Cop actor that he had missed the gym for months and “Mr Schwarzenegger, can you please tell me to get off my lazy ass and hit the gym? I swear to everything I hold dear that I will snap out of it and go.”

To the Canadian’s surprise, the Terminator actor replied. Not with an order to “snap out of it”, but gentle encouragement to take “one step at a time”.

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“I’m not going to be hard on you. Please don’t be that hard on yourself. We all go through challenges, we all go through failure. Sometimes life is a workout. But the key thing is you get up. Just move a little. Roll out of bed and do some pushups or go for a walk. Just do something. One step at a time, I hope you feel better and get back to the gym. But don’t beat yourself up, because that’s just useless talk. It doesn’t get you closer to the gym. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Good luck,” the ex-California Governor wrote.

Ali, who describes himself as a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, told BBC, “I jumped out of bed and thought what’s the quickest way to the gym? I used that motivation and went straight there. It was crazy.”

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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