You know all those #motivational and #fitspirational quotes that echo The Secret's sentiment of "fitness is 80% mental" and "if you can dream it you can do it?" Well, according to a new study by Stanford University, it appears that those sentiments may be half-true.

The study looked at how we think about our fitness, specifically how we tend to beat ourselves up about not working out or eating healthily enough - not unlike the self-loathing one feels when scrolling through Instagram or watching the Victoria's Secret runway show. It appears that the mental stress isn't worth it at all, and is enough to cause adverse health effects. Apparently, the study came around when co-author Octavia Zahrt realised she was beating herself up about not exercising as much as her Stanford University mates... something we're all guilty of

Based on a 2007 study that showed that fitness can be influenced with a placebo effect  also by this new study's other co-author, Alia Crum, the researchers looked at how women perceive themselves and at a series of US National Health surveys and found  that living longer is essentially partly a mindfulness technique.  "The ultimate end goal is the sense of "enoughness," explains Crum. "It's all individual. If you're thinking, every day,that you haven't done enough, that is problematic."

On one side, this study (not unlike the recent study about "finding your purpose to sleep better) has essentially created another anxiety that we don't need, but on the other, perhaps it's time to embrace a The Secret-approach to exercise. Or maybe, if we all just learned to love ourselves a bit more, we'd live happier, longer lives. The.End.

Image: P.E Nation x Ella Bache

Think fit: Stressing about fitness is killing you, says science