Stress and Your Body

Watch Stress and Your Body

  • 2010
  • 1 Season

Stress and Your Body is an informative and fascinating course that explores the complex ways that stress affects various systems in the human body. The course is presented by Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a renowned professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Stanford University, and is part of The Great Courses series, which is dedicated to creating compelling and accessible educational content for lifelong learners.

The course begins by examining the biological roots of stress, exploring how the human body evolved to respond to threatening situations and how our modern lives often trigger this same response even in non-threatening situations. Dr. Sapolsky presents a wealth of scientific research on the physiological changes that occur when we experience stress, including the release of cortisol and other hormones, alterations in heart rate and blood pressure, and the impact on the immune system. He also discusses the long-term impact of chronic stress on the body, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.

Throughout the course, Dr. Sapolsky draws on examples from his own research and personal experiences, as well as anecdotal evidence from other experts in the field. He also presents a range of case studies and real-world scenarios to illustrate the effects of stress on different individuals and how they have coped with or overcome these challenges.

One of the most compelling aspects of Stress and Your Body is Dr. Sapolsky's ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a clear and engaging way. He uses vivid analogies and metaphors to help learners understand the intricacies of the body's response to stress, and he offers practical advice for managing stress in our daily lives. For example, he explains how engaging in physical activity, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and getting enough sleep can all help to mitigate the effects of stress on the body.

The course covers a wide range of topics related to stress and health, including the impact of stress on the brain and cognitive functioning, the role of stress in addiction and substance abuse, the links between stress and chronic pain, and the ways in which stress can affect fertility and pregnancy. Dr. Sapolsky also explores the social and cultural factors that contribute to stress and how individuals can work to create more supportive environments in their communities.

Overall, Stress and Your Body is a thought-provoking and informative course that offers valuable insights for anyone interested in understanding the ways in which stress affects our bodies and our lives. Dr. Sapolsky's engaging teaching style and his wealth of knowledge make this an accessible and engaging course that is well worth the time and investment for anyone who wants to improve their understanding of stress and its impact on human health.

Stress and Your Body is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on September 3, 2010.

Stress and Your Body
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Stress Management: Approaches and Cautions
24. Stress Management: Approaches and Cautions
September 3, 2010
Exercise. Meditation. Social support. Religious beliefs. In this concluding lecture, learn how these and other outlets can potentially help you manage life's everyday stressors: both biologically and psychologically. Regardless of how many stressors you deal with daily, all of us, according to Professor Sapolsky, have the potential to keep them in perspective.
Stress Management: Clues to Success?
23. Stress Management: Clues to Success?
September 3, 2010
Before learning tips to manage chronic stress, it's essential to understand why certain individuals cope better with stress: both physically and mentally: than others. Discover that the key lies in grasping predictors of successful aging, including a position of respect, a resilient personality, a healthy lifestyle, and a realistic approach to life's challenges.
Stress, Health, and Low Social Status
22. Stress, Health, and Low Social Status
September 3, 2010
How strong a role does socioeconomic status play in what stressors you're exposed to, as well as your potential for chronic stress? It's a provocative question whose answer Professor Sapolsky reveals in this penetrating look at the characteristics and effects of psychosocial stress on both primates and humans.
Anxiety, Hostility, Repression, and Reward
21. Anxiety, Hostility, Repression, and Reward
September 3, 2010
Anxiety disorders, feelings of intense hostility, a decreased capacity for pleasure, and a repressed or addictive persona are just a few of the many distinct effects that chronic stress can have on an individual's personality and behavior. The ways these psychological disorders emerge are the subject of this fascinating lecture.
Stress and the Psychology of Depression
20. Stress and the Psychology of Depression
September 3, 2010
To truly understand clinical depression, you need to grasp its psychological aspects as well. In the second lecture on stress and this prevalent disease, explore the pivotal role stress hormones play in depression. Then, use your newfound knowledge of stress to knit together the psychological and biological models of depression.
Stress and the Biology of Depression
19. Stress and the Biology of Depression
September 3, 2010
Turn to the realm of mental health with this close look at the ties between stress and major depression: one of the leading causes of disability in the world. Start with an overview of the disorder's symptoms before delving into the particulars of its neurochemistry and neuroanatomy.
Psychological Modulators of Stress
18. Psychological Modulators of Stress
September 3, 2010
Conclude your look at ways to modulate the stress response by looking at two subtler variables: your control over the stressor, and your interpretation of whether the stress is getting better or worse. You also see why, despite being enormously powerful, these variables can work only within certain parameters.
Understanding Psychological Stress
17. Understanding Psychological Stress
September 3, 2010
Why are some stressors more unbearable than others? This lecture introduces you to three powerful psychological factors that work to modulate the stress response: having an outlet, taking advantage of social support, and having predictive information about when and how long a stressor will occur.
Stress and Aging
16. Stress and Aging
September 3, 2010
As you age, your ability to deal with stress decreases. What's more: Lots of stress throughout your lifetime can accelerate aspects of aging. Here, examine a series of intriguing experiments and studies that explain the science behind these two views about the intersection between stress and aging.
Stress, Sleep, and Lack of Sleep
15. Stress, Sleep, and Lack of Sleep
September 3, 2010
Most of us don't get as much sleep as we should. Yet the amount of sleep we get is highly intertwined with how our bodies deal with stress. Investigate why high levels of stress disrupt not only how long we sleep: but the quality of sleep's vital restorative powers as well.
Stress, Judgment, and Impulse Control
14. Stress, Judgment, and Impulse Control
September 3, 2010
In addition to affecting the hippocampus, stress can prove harmful to the frontal cortex as well: the seat of behavioral regulation. As in previous lectures, discover what happens to this essential part of the brain when it comes under attack from chronic stress.
Stress, Learning, and Memory
13. Stress, Learning, and Memory
September 3, 2010
Memory: whether implicit or explicit: is an essential part of everyday life. So it's all the more important to understand how it's affected by stress. This lecture explains the science behind how short-term stress enhances memory and learning, while chronic stress may actually work to kill neurons in the hippocampus.
Stress and Pain
12. Stress and Pain
September 3, 2010
Stress and pain have an intriguing relationship: Stress can increase your sensitivity and resistance to pain, while pain constitutes its own particular stressor. Explore this fascinating bidirectional relationship, and expand your knowledge of how both balanced and stressed minds and bodies react to all varieties of pain.
Stress and Cancer
11. Stress and Cancer
September 3, 2010
Can an increase in stress actually cause cancer? Can it cause a relapse among patients in remission, or speed up the rate of a cancer's progression? Professor Sapolsky offers his insights on these and other controversial questions and myths about the possible links between stress and cancer.
Stress and Your Immune System
10. Stress and Your Immune System
September 3, 2010
Turn now to the relationship between stress and your immune system. After mastering the basics of how this system works, delve into how frequent stressors can result in flare-ups of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, can increase your vulnerability to infections like the common cold and herpes viruses, and more.
Stress and Male Reproduction
9. Stress and Male Reproduction
September 3, 2010
Despite being simpler than its female counterpart, the male reproductive system is just as vulnerable to chronic stress. Here, discover how stress leads not to a major decrease in testosterone so much as an increase in erectile dysfunction (with a focus on two of the most common symptoms: impotency and premature ejaculation).
Stress and Female Reproduction
8. Stress and Female Reproduction
September 3, 2010
Get an insightful overview of the multifaceted effects of stress on the female reproductive system. Some of the topics you explore are the intricate relationships between stress and fertilization, ovulation, spontaneous miscarriages, high-tech in vitro fertilization, and the strength of the libido.
Stress, Growth, and Child Development
7. Stress, Growth, and Child Development
September 3, 2010
Investigate how chronic stress can disrupt the growth of young children by focusing on stress dwarfism and the connection between stress and low growth hormone levels. Also, learn how mid-20th-century experiments with monkeys proved how important love: and not just nutrients: is in raising less-stressful children.
Stress and Growth: Echoes from the Womb
6. Stress and Growth: Echoes from the Womb
September 3, 2010
The first of two lectures on stress and child development takes you inside prenatal and postnatal life. Using two extraordinary examples, Professor Sapolsky reveals the ways a fetus can respond to the environmental stressors of its mother, and how different parenting styles can affect the stress levels of young children.
Stress, Overeating, and Your Digestive Tract
5. Stress, Overeating, and Your Digestive Tract
September 3, 2010
Focus now on the role stress plays in our gastrointestinal tracts. Why do most of us eat more during stressful periods? How does stress affect bowel disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and spastic colons? And how does stress combine with a bacterial infection to produce a common stress-related disease: ulcers?
Stress, Metabolism, and Liquidating Your Assets
4. Stress, Metabolism, and Liquidating Your Assets
September 3, 2010
The next organ system you focus on: the metabolic system. Discover how cycles of chronic stress lead to a persistent activating and storing of energy, which in turn can lead to an inefficient use of energy and play a critical role in the prevalence of adult-onset diabetes.
Stress and Your Heart
3. Stress and Your Heart
September 3, 2010
Armed with the necessary background information, explore how specific organ systems suffer when faced with chronic stress. In the first of a series of lectures on this subject, learn how long-term stress can damage heart muscles, inflame and clog blood vessels, and even lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
The Nuts and Bolts of the Stress-Response
2. The Nuts and Bolts of the Stress-Response
September 3, 2010
Every time you have a thought or emotion, things change in your body. Here, explore the two factors responsible for these changes: the nervous system and hormones. Learn how these systems work, how they're regulated, and: most important: what happens to them during moments of stress.
Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers? Why Do We?
1. Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers? Why Do We?
September 3, 2010
In Professor Sapolsky's introductory lecture, get a behind-the-scenes look at the science of stress and preview the groundwork for the course ahead. What exactly happens to our bodies when we come under stress? And how is our response to stress different from that of a zebra being hunted along a savannah?
Where to Watch Stress and Your Body
Stress and Your Body is available for streaming on the The Great Courses website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Stress and Your Body on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Kanopy and Hoopla.
  • Premiere Date
    September 3, 2010