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Inverse Daily

Can’t let go of stress? One action can boost well-being

Plus: Another scientific discovery hits diet soda.

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Are you stressed yet? It’s only Tuesday, but if you are like most workers in the U.S. (at least, according to a 2021 Gallup poll), then you are probably stressed. Stress isn’t necessarily bad for you, but holding on to the feelings negative events generate — the microaggressions at work and at home, the trying interactions with other travelers on the commute, the video conferencing software not working again — can take a toll. There is another way, however.

Like the Frozen song, it may be possible to let it go. I’m Claire Cameron, managing editor of Inverse. Personally, I am basking in the reflected glory of our brand-new Inverse Daily design! Hit the ‘reply’ button and tell us what you think of our fresh new look. And keep scrolling to find out how to let go of your stress, and read more stories to help expand your horizons from Inverse.

Speaking of new horizons, we are launching a new innovation-focused, twice-weekly newsletter called HORIZONS. Sign up and follow our innovation coverage here.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Subscribe for free and learn something new every day.

Planet 9, are you out there?Shutterstock

Planet Nine: Astronomers narrow in on mysterious planet’s location

A team of astronomers used the Dark Energy Survey to look for the hypothetical Planet 9 — Passant Rabie has the full story.

Matthew Belyakov, a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s department of physics and astronomy, recently joined the search.

“There’s always that feeling when we’re analyzing any of the survey data that maybe we’ll find it,” Belyakov tells Inverse. “There’s something to look forward to. It definitely gives me a bit of stimulus.”

Planet Nine is a hypothetical Neptune-sized planet that, if it exists, orbits our Sun in a highly elongated orbit that lies far beyond Pluto. In the most recent search for this mysterious object, Belyakov and his team ruled out a section of the sky where this planet may be located thus improving the odds of finding Planet Nine.

The findings are detailed in a study available on the preprint server arXiv.

Continue reading.

Spinosaurus was no joke.Shutterstock

Dense bones helped this dinosaur capture prey underwater

Spinosaurus is the biggest meat-eating dinosaur ever discovered, Inverse contributor Charles Q. Choi reports, larger even than the famous T. rex. However, the way the ancient beast hunted its game has been debated for decades. Now new research suggests its dense bones enabled Spinosaurus to seek prey underwater.

Most groups of vertebrates on land have members that have returned to life either partly or fully aquatic. Among mammals, there are whales, seals, otters, and hippos; among birds, penguins; among reptiles, alligators, crocodiles, marine iguanas, and sea snakes. However, for a long time, with the exception of birds, dinosaurs were largely thought an exception to this pattern, with only a few suggested to be partly or fully aquatic.

In 2014, evidence appeared that Spinosaurus could swim, with the giant sail on its back rising from the water like the dorsal fin of the great white shark. But scientists weren’t sure how Spinosaurus actually lived — whether it swam after prey, or just waded in the water like a heron. Now, we’re a little closer to the answer.

Go deeper.

Shake off the stress and learn to forgive.Milko/E+/Getty Images

Stressed? Five psychologist-tested strategies to let it go and forgive

Forgiveness may be key to mitigating adverse events’ harmful mental and physical health effects. In Ali Pattillo’s latest STRATEGY edition, a psychologist shares five steps you can take to learn to forgive and move on.

If you drag your resentment and anger through life, it may do more than cast a dark cloud over your emotional life. It could harm your physical health, too. Studies show unresolved conflict — and the emotional turmoil and toxic anger it generates — can heighten your risk of heart attack; worsen cholesterol levels and sleep; increase physical pain and blood pressure, and exacerbate anxiety, depression, and stress.

Coming to terms with our grievances and ultimately forgiving them can feel challenging, if not impossible.

“We are not supposed to go straight from injury to forgiveness because we have got to process the experience,” Luskin explains.

“The brain needs to readjust to a changed life,” Luskin says. He adds that creating a “new homeostasis” — a kind of baseline for our brains — is not a gentle or straightforward process.

Read the full story.

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Artificial sweeteners cause cancer in mice. Here’s worrying data from humans

Inverse health reporter Nick Keppler reports how researchers recently combed through more than a decade of health data from 102,865 French volunteers. The researchers found that consumption of artificial sweeteners was associated with an increased risk of cancer. Specifically, they found that those who consumed any kind of artificial sweetener had a 13-to-14 percent higher probability of developing cancer than those who did not.

The researchers looked at three common sweeteners individually: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose. Acesulfame potassium is sold in the U.S. under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One. Aspartame is sold as NutraSweet or Equal. Sucralose you may know as Splenda.

Cancer rates were 15 percent greater for higher consumers of aspartame. But that’s not all they found...

Go deeper.

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  • On this day in history: On March 29, 1974, farmers discovered 8,000 terracotta statues of warrior-like figures in an underground chamber near Xi’an in China. This model army was supposed to guard the tomb of the emperor Qin Shi Huang, who died in 210 B.C.E.
  • Song of the day: All I Need,” by Air.
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