• Everything you ever wanted to know about stress

Everything you ever wanted to know about stress

The best explanation of stress we’ve ever heard comes from Dr Robert Sapolsky, a neurobiologist and the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

“If you are a normal mammal,” he says, “stress is the three minutes of screaming terror on the savanna after which either it’s over with or you’re over with.”

If you’re a human mammal, however, stress comes from something more insidious than a toothy predator: anxiety triggered by the passive-aggressive boss, the crippling mortgage, and the job of caring for children as well as the ill parent who believes he’s still doing his National Service in the jungle of Vietnam.

No wildebeest would understand these fears, but the perceived threats spark the same physiological survival responses that crocodile attacks do. Here’s where modern stress bites your body and how to fight back.

Too much stress can also harm your waistline. Are your stress levels making you fat?

Sep 6, 2012

Everything you ever wanted to know about stress

It can lead to depression, anxiety and all sorts of health problems - but just how does stress affect your body?