Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers Book Summary - Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers Book explained in key points
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Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers summary

Robert M. Sapolsky

The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping

4.4 (167 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky is an informative book that explores the effects of stress on the human body and provides insights into managing stress effectively. The book is filled with scientific research and anecdotes that help readers understand stress and its impact.

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    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Summary of 11 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 11

    Stress originates as a response to acute physical crises, but humans stress over imaginary things, too.

    It’s two in the morning and you can’t sleep, despite the fact that you have to deliver a career-defining presentation tomorrow morning. You’re just too stressed out! Situations like this one are central to the human experience. But why do we feel stress at all?

    Looking at the rest of the animal kingdom, we find that stress responses are activated by physical danger and risk. Imagine being a zebra on the savannah: the most stressful thing you could experience is fleeing the jaws of a lion while half your leg is ripped open. Or, if you’re the lion, the stress would come from chasing a zebra while close to starvation.

    Both these situations, while different, are crises that need to be dealt with immediately to ensure survival.

    Some animals also deal with chronic physical stress. Imagine, for example, having to walk dozens of miles every day in order to find food or water.

    For humans, however, the biggest source of stress is often psychological – stress that we simply conjure up in our own heads.

    Consider situations like traffic jams, upcoming deadlines, not finding a parking spot or tense arguments with family or loved ones. None of these situations require extraordinary physical activity, as they’re rarely settled with fistfights or narrow escapes.

    Nonetheless, they generate stress in our minds.

    Humans also get stressed out about things that might happen in the future. For example, people worry about their mortgage, upcoming job interviews, their retirement funds – you name it.

    This makes sense when we have an opportunity to mobilize a plan to deal with these stressors, but it’s pointless when we’re unable to affect the situation that causes our worrying.

    So, from an evolutionary perspective, sustained psychological stress is a very recent phenomenon.

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    What is Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers about?

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers (1994) vividly explains the biology behind stress and its impact on our lives, functioning as an effective way to deal with immediate problems, while also posing serious health risks in the long run. The author also offers plenty of practical tips on how to keep stress under control.

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers Review

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers (1994) explores the fascinating and complex relationship between stress and health. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides in-depth scientific explanations of how stress affects our bodies, offering valuable insights into managing our health.
    • Using humor and personal anecdotes, the author makes complex concepts accessible and relatable, keeping readers engaged throughout.
    • Through its eye-opening findings on the impact of stress, the book challenges our assumptions and invites us to rethink our approach to well-being.

    Best quote from Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

    If there is a tornado bearing down on your house, this isnt the day to repaint the garage.

    —Robert M. Sapolsky
    example alt text

    Who should read Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?

    • Anyone who feels stressed
    • People interested in the ways society impacts our stress levels
    • Anyone curious about how the mind and the body are interconnected

    About the Author

    Robert Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, a leading stress researcher and a regular contributor to the magazines Discover and The Sciences. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, and is the author of A Primate’s Memoir and The Trouble With Testosterone.

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    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?

    Understanding stress and its effects on the body can help us live healthier and happier lives.

    How long does it take to read Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?

    The estimated reading time for Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers is a couple of hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers is a must-read as it explores the impact of stress on our health in a comprehensive and engaging way.

    Who is the author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?

    Robert M. Sapolsky is the author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.

    What to read after Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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