Robert Tamayo


The Best Life Hack is to Improve Yourself at Something Every Single Day

This is a life hack aimed at fixing pessimists. Yes, pessimists need to be fixed. Although they are unpleasant to be around, this fix isn't for me; it's for them.

Negativity can cause you to die sooner. Pessimism and hopelessness causes your body to produce stress, and uncontrolled stress over a long period of time can lead to a shorter lifespan.

Negativity is what stress needs to grow, and stress will grow in your life like weeds. Weeds will take over a garden and kill everything beautiful in it. The same goes for stress in your life.

There are a lot of books about managing stress. There are probably even more blog posts about it. My take on the subject is very simple.

To Hack Your Body and Improve Your Life in the Simplest Way, Simply Improve Yourself at One Thing Every Single Day.

Placebo is a well-documented phenomenon whereby actual, measured improvements in health can be observed in people when given a treatment that they were believed was real. The placebo effect is real. This means that if your mind believes you are improving, your body will heal and improve itself. For example, if you were given a pill that you thought was an aspirin, your headache might go away. In reality, the pill was a sugar pill, and there was nothing about its properties that would have had the physiological effect of removing your headache.

Nocebo is the opposite; with a nocebo effect, the body can actual harm itself and make itself sick simply by believing it has been given something that will harm it. This is also well-documented and real. In contrast with the example for placebo above, if someone gave you a pill that you thought would remove your headache but also have a side effect of giving you nausea, you might actually start to feel nauseous.

Both placebo and nocebo effects have nothing to do with the physical properties of the treatment; the effects are caused only by your mind.

The trick to both effects, however, is that the participant must truly believe in the effects of what he is being given. If I knew I were given a placebo, the positive effects wouldn't take place.

So the simple life hack to defeating pessimism, stress, and therefore improving your life is this: simply trick your body into believing that you are improving every single day.

Working out is the simplest way I can think of doing this. When you lift weights, you notice your muscles growing. You look in the mirror and can see the improvements every day. You know you are improving. Your body believes it, because you see it and your mind knows it is true. There is no getting around it; you actually are improving.

My hypothesis is that this will actually trigger a body-wide placebo effect.

Everything about you will improve. Your mood will improve and your body will start healing wounds faster. You will have more energy. You will have less stress. Simply because you have triggered a body-wide placebo effect.

The body-wide placebo effect is a hypothesis, but I'm sure many people who have been exercising for a long time will tell you that are much more healthy overall than you were before, and that the changes are in areas not directly affected by the workout.

I highly recommend lifting weights. But this effect can be achieved by doing anything for which you can measure direct improvements over time. You can learn the piano. You can learn a new language. You can draw.

Start today and look back at your first song or drawing 6 months from now. You will have no choice but to believe, truly believe, that you are improving.

This placebo effect will force your outlook to become positive and optimistic, thereby destroying the lingering and festering stress you hold onto. The feelings of improvement will simply start to eradicate the excess stress and destroy it.

It's not enough to be stagnant. You can't simply maintain a state of living and expect things to improve. If you're feeling pessimistic or stressed out, you need to make simple improvements every day in order to trigger the healing effects your body is capable of producing.

Don't be stagnant. Take up a new hobby and make improvements. Stagnation will lead to bodily decline. Your body wants to know that the person in charge of it is still there and needs the best from it.

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