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Stress and Your Body

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Feeling stressed? You're not alone. Stress is an inherent aspect of life that can have tremendous negative effects on your mental and physical health. This makes coping with stress a critical part of how well we live. Once you understand the inner workings of your stress response system, you'll possess powerful knowledge that will help you understand and better deal with t ...more
Audio CD
Published by The Great Courses (first published January 1st 2010)
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4.31  · 
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 ·  329 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Daniel Aguilar
I love this man. It's not just that the delivered materials are absolutely amazing but also, and maybe even more importantly, the way Sapolsky presents them. In each lecture (there are 24 of them in this audio/video book) he sets the background with an intriguing question, an anecdote or a joke, and then proceeds to develop the subject including coherent theory (usually providing different points of view or even opposed ones), references to scientific evidence and many humorous comments that tra ...more
Kayson Fakhar
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One word: brilliant.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This audiobook includes a series of lectures on stress and its effects on your body. A large percentage of the material went right over my head, but it was still interesting and informative - what I could catch! :-)
Colin Jarrett
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Almost 4 stars, but I am not medically inclined enough to appreciate some of the detail but rather found it tiresome. Overall, though, this book dives into many interesting causes and effects of stress and some chapters were fascinating. Recommended for anyone curious about the multifaceted role stress plays in modern society who will not be put off by some medical detail (and it is sometimes obvious when there will be a few minutes of it, so a cleverer listener than I could skip some parts).
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple straight forward introduction to body systems and how stress effects them. The lecturer is fantastic and engaging.
Troy Blackford
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Much of this is a recap in lecture-form of the material presented in the revised 'Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers,' but that's okay because this is dense, complex material and if you claim to have memorized it all after reading it once, then I have doubts you are telling the truth. You get the bonus of Dr. Sapolsky's wit coming through even more clearly, plus many new developments and additional pieces of information. A fantastic journey through the links running through endocrinology, psychology, p ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sapolsky is a Stanford professor and "genius grant" recipient with an incredibly clear writing and speaking style. I was especially interested in the parts about studies related to the Dutch hunger winter and other studies related to repressive personalities.
Tyler Roberts
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible lecture. I learned so much about the basics of how the human body functions.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book
This book/course is weirdly good. First, I have complete faith in the author's authority and judgment. And, his presentation is engaging.

I say weirdly good because it was difficult to listen to for twelve hours. The author warns us during the first lecture that it is going to be depressing for the first twenty-two lectures and then he would pull it together. He delivers.

During the first twenty-two lectures he systematically describes the destructive effects of stress on every physical and psycho
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Feeling stressed and depressed? Yeah, well, don't listen to this, it will just make you feel worse. I can sum it up for you in just two words, "stress sucks." There is a lot of science here, much of which I have heard from other sources.

What I was hoping for was not all of the bio-mechanics or neuroscience of stress, but some insight into how to mitigate the effects. There are 24 chapters/lectures here and only one of them offers any advice, more as an afterthought than a serious attempt to help
Dennis Murphy
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Medical Students, Health Specialists, and People who get Stressed
Stress and Your Body by Robert M Sapolsky is a selection put forward by the great courses that simulates an entry, survey level, course on the biology of stress. I was familiar with a couple of its lessons, and was operating under a few falsehoods that the audio-course were able to clear up. This took me a while to get through, but I believe that had more to do with my circumstances (last month of the semester, finals, fall break, etc.) than Sapolsky. The professor is a charming individual who d ...more
Chris C
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology, science
Sapolsky presents the facts in a classroom setting - May not be the thing for everyone, but damn if his voice isn't calming and comforting.

If you were ever curious about what stress is doing to you, this is the book for you. Sapolsky shows readers how stress can effect your health, impacts your ability to develop cancer, effects your memory. Maybe I am focused on his calming voice in the panic that his discourse can bring. He is sometimes aware of how his knowledge can incite riot in a western
Stress and Your Body is the 2010 course by Robert Sapolsky Ph.D. with a live clapping audience. Dr Sapolsky is an incredible orator and the material is fascinating, but the course is also very depressing. He promises multiple times that it will get better, but even when he gets to the long promised section, Sapolsky is more honest that many of the managing options have caveats, are "double edged swords" or mostly are not well understood.

I did enjoy that the analysis seems to be holistic incorpor
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This course took me a while to get through, but the information is so interesting and the implications of it so compelling, I really wanted to take my time with it. Sapolsky somehow injected even serious subjects with humor, sensitivity, and a consideration of the layperson who has an interest in physical and mental health. While I didn't buy into some of the viewpoints he addressed, I appreciate that he was objective, gave source information, and was generally balanced in his presentation. Whil ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Another excellent entry in the Great Courses catalogue. I enjoy Dr. Sapolsky; he has a dry wit that is easy to miss, and his approach is reader-friendly and accessible. This course focuses, not surprisingly, on the physical effects of stress. The first several lectures look at different body systems (cardiopulmonary, immune, endocrine, etc). He examines the effects of stress on mental health, too, with a particular focus on depression. While much of the information is grim, the final lecture off ...more
This course blew me away. The depth and breadth, but still in layman’s interest, was incredible. I learned so much and came away with a confident knowledge of this subject. He added much more to what I already knew. Sapolsky is also interesting to listen to and his humor injected a lively note. I truly appreciated that. I’d love to see him do a follow up adding energy medicine into the mix. There’s so much more science being made available to add to an intellectual course such as this. Loved it. ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoy the Great Courses lectures. This was a very informative series of lectures, and discussed in detail the influence of stress on each of the body's systems. The conclusion is clear, stress is really bad and doesn't cause sickness and disease, but exacerbates the situation making symptoms and conditions worse. I would like to go through some of these lectures again to capture more of the details about what metabolically is driving some of these phenomena. Good thing I own it and c ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
What a great and engaging book about human bodies (and rats and monkeys). For those of us like myself without a medical background, I learned so much about the miracle of the body. How it protects itself and how it gets into trouble. My favorite tidbit: The frontal lobe does not complete maturity until 25. Guess what's going to be on my next 25th birthday card? "Congratulations on finally having your frontal lobe development complete". Seriously, the author explained some very complex functions ...more
Alex Perez
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good - Sapolsky breaks down the biology of stress and it's effect on the body in a very specific timeline, yet it's accessible info. Lots of different variations of stress are played out, with a surprising couple of chapters on depression towards the end that I found enlightening. Towards the end we're treated with coping mechanisms for stress - which we all know from many many healthy lifestyle bullet lists posted all over the internet - that make a little more sense having the framework ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Science of how stress affects our various biological systems. The science supports most modern advice about health and wellness. There is great description of how the systems function under normal and stress conditions. The key is return from stress to normal function, which is often interrupted by our lifestyle.
Mike Cox
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible series of lectures - absolutely recommended for anyone curious about the biological impacts of stress. Ranges from disease to reproduction to depression to brain function. The talks are filled with accessible anecdotes and easy to understand comparisons. 5/5, will definitely listen again.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Robert Sapolsky wrote a great book about the effects of stress on the body that I read about 3 years ago called Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. It's nice to hear the author, a professor of neurology and biology, give a recorded lecture series on this topic to revisit his fine work. As a bonus, Prof. Sapolsky has a funny, subtle humor that persists throughout the series. Entertaining and informative.
Fate's Lady
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a lot of material presented in an approachable and clear manner, and it's a fascinating subject. It's very clear that stress has a tremendous impact on our health and quality of life, and Dr Sapolsky lays it all out point by point. Also, being a lab rat is the WORST.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a super fun and informative lecture! Sapolsky does know how to make his classes light, accessible and interesting, adding context to every single example he gives. Definitely worth listening!
Dennis Miller
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty deep dive. Not just casual, light reading; but, very worthwhile.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very well structured, good for people with no biology nor medical background. Several study cases are presented, it's not a mere theory book.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-audible
fascinating! contents presented in a very understandable way!!
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Simone Pedroso
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant lectures with tons of useful information, sometimes scary, sometimes funny. But useful in general, and not only trivia.
Victor Negut
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great information. I only wish Sapolsky chose to deliver it without trying so hard to entertain. I feel like the target audience was people with ADD.
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Robert Maurice Sapolsky is the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery, at Stanford University. In addition, he is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya.

Sapolsky has received numerous honors and awards for his work, including the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship genius grant i