Which stress do YOU have?
In his very exciting (perhaps even too exciting) work, ‘Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers’, Professor Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University (which I idolise for obvious reasons) tells the world about his life-long study of stress, both as a researcher and as a Jew (if there’s something we’re good at..!).
We all heard about the ‘Fight or Flight’ modes our bodies go into when we are facing threats, and being the intelligent creatures that we are (some more than others mind you) we can get that thing on just by using our imagination! Now how fabulous is that?
In this book, Professor Sapolsky teaches us about the two general type of stress; the immediate one which I mentioned above as the ‘Fight or Flight’ response, or as they call it in med-school the 4 F’s (fight, flight, freeze and sex), and another one, the really nasty one which crawls up on us when we don’t notice and does all sorts of messy things in our bodies like increasing inflammation or reduce our immunity for example. Happy face.
This was probably the most savvy non-fiction non-textbook I have ever read but like any work done by Prof Sapolsky it was super interesting and eye-opening, very informative and delivered with great humor and imagination and I cannot recommend it enough.
If you can keep up with hormones and brain structures with funny names like glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) or amygdala (an almond-like structure in the brain associated with fear and aggression), and the in-depth explanations of the processes (notes notes notes!) it really is a joy.
The book covers the effect of the different stresses on various body systems such as the obvious cardiovascular system, endocrine system, digestive system, reproductive system, immune system and many more. It also contains some tips and evidence-based methods to improve stress management and lead a healthier lifestyle.
So if you're interested in finding out more about stress from multiple angles – look no further. This is the #1 source from a world leading researcher in the field.
I wish I could go into the depths of the stress response and how the neuroendocrine system mediates stressful stimuli but why deny you of the pleasure of finding out in the book?
Also, I have assignments to submit!
Let me know how did you find this review and if you like this kind of content or actually do want the savvy in-depth material too.
See you soon!