Stress and Your Body Series

The Great Courses
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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers? Why Do We?
In Professor Sapolsky's introductory episode, 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…
Episode 2 The Nuts and Bolts of the Stress-Response
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…
Episode 3 Stress and Your Heart
Armed with the necessary background information, explore how specific organ systems suffer when faced with chronic stress. In the first of a series of episodes on this subject, learn how…
Episode 4 Stress, Metabolism, and Liquidating Your Assets
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…
Episode 5 Stress, Overeating, and Your Digestive Tract
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…
Episode 6 Stress and Growth: Echoes from the Womb
The first of two episodes 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…
Episode 7 Stress, Growth, and Child Development
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…
Episode 8 Stress and Female Reproduction
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,…
Episode 9 Stress and Male Reproduction
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…
Episode 10 Stress and Your Immune System
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…
Episode 11 Stress and Cancer
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…
Episode 12 Stress and Pain
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…
Episode 13 Stress, Learning, and Memory
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 episode explains the science…
Episode 14 Stress, Judgment, and Impulse Control
In addition to affecting the hippocampus, stress can prove harmful to the frontal cortex as well: the seat of behavioral regulation. As in previous episodes, discover what happens to this…
Episode 15 Stress, Sleep, and Lack of Sleep
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…
Episode 16 Stress and Aging
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…
Episode 17 Understanding Psychological Stress
Why are some stressors more unbearable than others? This episode introduces you to three powerful psychological factors that work to modulate the stress response: having an outlet, taking advantage of…
Episode 18 Psychological Modulators of Stress
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…
Episode 19 Stress and the Biology of Depression
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…
Episode 20 Stress and the Psychology of Depression
To truly understand clinical depression, you need to grasp its psychological aspects as well. In the second episode on stress and this prevalent disease, explore the pivotal role stress hormones…
Episode 21 Anxiety, Hostility, Repression, and Reward
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…
Episode 22 Stress, Health, and Low Social Status
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…
Episode 23 Stress Management: Clues to Success?
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…
Episode 24 Stress Management: Approaches and Cautions
Exercise. Meditation. Social support. Religious beliefs. In this concluding episode, learn how these and other outlets can potentially help you manage life's everyday stressors: both biologically and psychologically. Regardless of…

Related videos

Stress and Pain
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 the Psychology of Depression
To truly understand clinical depression, you need to grasp its psychological aspects as well. In the second episode 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 Management: Clues to Success?
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…
How to Make Stress Work for You
Discover how to finally manage and minimize the stress in your life with these inspiring lectures. Packed with scientifically-backed behavior modifications and cognitive exercises, popular Great Courses instructor Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura's course helps you build a personal stress management toolkit so you can better manage your stress response.
Stress and Aging
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.
The Nuts and Bolts of the Stress-Response
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.
Psychological Modulators of Stress
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.
Stress, Health, and Low Social Status
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.
Good Stress Helps You Handle All Stress
Part of the Series: How to Make Stress Work for You
Can stress be good for you? How does stress help us become healthier, happier, and more resilient? Why should we seek out mild discomfort? How does one researcher's "toughness model" explain how good stress works? Learn to use stress to strengthen your resilience.
Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers? Why Do We?
In Professor Sapolsky's introductory episode, 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 al ong…
Stress and Female Reproduction
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 and the Biology of Depression
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.