Now in a third edition, Robert M. Sapolsky's acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers features new chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress.
As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear-and the ones that plague us now-are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way-through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick. Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses. This new edition promises to be the most comprehensive and engaging one yet.
©2004 Robert M. Sapolsky (P)2012 Tantor
This book was so good I got it in print. The print version has visuals that I missed in the audio version. The book isn't quite as good as his series of lectures- which I highly recommend. The lectures are a bit more personal and interesting. Also, this narrator's voice was a bit annoying. Sapolsky's own voice is much better. I would suggest you buy the lectures (search Sapolsky on audible) and get this book in print (third edition).
This book is more about the physiology of stress than coping with stress. It also covers a lot of studies about the impact of stress on animals... some useful, some not (unless you can translate how an animal fighting to be alpha male in a pack would apply in your own life). There was also a lot of technical information about how the body and brain work when stressed.
No, really, this book was extremely well narrated and very interesting. Makes what could be boring medical stuff fun to listen to. Some of us handle the stressors in our modern lives better than others and the author does give tips in the last chapter on how these people do it.
Exaggerated emphasis, stagey inflection. Berkot's rollar coaster reading is highly distracting, injects ambiguity as to the meaning of some sentences and ruins the enjoyment of the text. Half David Biencouli, half 1950's William Shatner-- NOT an appropriate voice for scientific material.
Not if Peter Berkot were narrating it. I've already purchased a documentary, based on Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and Sapolsky is a far better better, more engaging interpreter of his work than Berkot.
Unfortunately, this is a prime example of a wonderful book ruined by a bad reading.I had read this book years ago, love the author, had heard Sapolsk lecture in person, and was really looking forward to what I thought would be a fun review of great material. But Peter Berkot's reading of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers wrecked my happy anticipation. Many scientific and historical authors make the rounds on TV talk shows or radio interview programs, giving their audience the opportunity to hear them read and/or discuss their manuscript in their own voice. Not all are scintillating lecturers, but they have an engaging enthusiasm for the material which sustains the audience, and which no grade C actor or professional reader ever manages to capture. Whether or not the author is "professional" in reading their material aloud, matters less than hearing the author's own intended inflection, emphasis and enthusiasm. A stagey reading by a professional reader, destroys the mood and introduces ambiguity, causing uncertainty as to the author's meaning in some cases.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
I bought this book in an audible promotion- 3 books with 2 credits. And I am glad I did it. I loved Robert Sapolsky's style, his extensive research and the way he puts it into words and stories. I listened to it as a doctor and, wow!, there were many things I did not know about stress... The reading is easy, and very entertaining. Great book!
I love Robert Sapolsky and his research, but the narration of this book... I don't know, may be it would be appropriate in some provincial drama theater, but for an audiobook it's completely inappropriate. the narrator's voice rises and falls in volume 5 times per sentence, sometimes in the middle of the word, and as a result some words are too loud and the very next word you have to strain your hearing to understand. If you are driving, the quieter words are completely lost in the road noise, and you have to reconstruct them from the context. All that makes listening very stressful, which is very ironic considering the content. Someone needs to explain to the narrators like this that cheap drama belongs somewhere else, and in an audiobook that is frequently being listened to in places where there's a lot of ambient noise shouting one word and whispering another is not a good idea.
See above regarding the narration.
Definitely not what I was expecting. I enjoyed the first few chapters, getting a basic understanding of how the stress response plays out in our bodies. But then it dawned on me that the whole book was just a 17 hour-long reading of physiology. Let's spend an hour learning how the immune system works, how stress affects it, and a random lab experiment I found interesting. Then let's learn about the reproductive system. Then let's learn about the skeletal system. Every half hour he'll say something about a zebra running through a savanna being chased by a lion and not worrying about his mortgage, which apparently gives us this title that sucked me in. I just don't know who this book was aimed at - someone wanting this much anatomy would look for a real textbook, and this wasn't either a comedy or a self-help book.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Robert Sapolsky explains stress is related to the presence of glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) in the body. However, the meaning of “presence” is like the fable of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Like Goldilocks’ entrance into the bears’ house, glucocorticoids in the body can either be too much or too little. Glucocorticoid presence in the body must be just right to be good for humans. Being just right is dependent on the cause of stress, quantity of glucocorticoid hormones, and the effect of glucocorticoid presence in the body.
I wasn't thrilled about this one, but I did learn a few things. Mostly I learned what happens in our bodies when we encounter stress, how many things can influence stressful reactions, and how bad stress is for our bodies.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS IF YOU ARE STRESSED! There is even a point in the book where the author says something that amounts to: "If you aren't stressed out by now, you haven't been listening." So much for the "coping" part of the advertisement for the book.
HOWEVER, if you are stressed and you don't know what is causing it, you may find the answer in this book. If you really want to know about the hormonal changes that take place in your body when you are stressed, this is the book for you. If you need more evidence that an angry disposition is bad for your body, please listen to this audiobook. BUT...don't look to this book for stress relief. The author doesn't really approach that topic - he deals primarily with stress itself.
I must say that having a better understanding of what is going on when I get stressed may help me in the long run, but listening to the description of it was very stressful. The narration was OK - not stellar, not horrible. I sped it up to get through it because this book was stressing me out.
I also didn't appreciate the use of pornographic quotes (somewhere around the end of chapter 2 or beginning of chapter 3 if you want to skip it) to demonstrate stress during sexual arousal. Also...don't listen to this without headphones if children are around, there is a lot about sex in this book. Most of it is scientific, but I thought that going into the sex lives of hyenas was a bit much. (No, I'm not kidding. He did that.)
On the other hand, I have to give him kudos for approaching the touchy, but very real, topic of self blame for diseases like cancer when patients believe or have been led to believe that their own stress habits or their lack of belief in thier own ability to cure themselves are the cause of the diseases they face. I agree with the author that that sort of "stress relief" taught by people who would profit from it is cruel and very damaging.
On the whole, listen to this audiobook for scientific purposes, but if you're stressed out, find another book.
The author puts it into layman's terms what happens in the body when we stress and why it is so bad for us.
A must read for anyone not living on a remote, tropical island.
Wow, interesting if a little depressing at points. But I'm now definitely better informed about glucocorticoids! Didn't enjoy the narration.
"Loads of info"
Well narrated, funny in places with loads of good info. I'll summarise for you; relax, don't sweat the small stuff, make friends, make love, exercised regularly and don't eat crap.
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