Robert Sapolsky is a professor biology and neurology at Stanford, and author of a book now in its third edition, with a very catchy title:
You won’t necessarily get the answer to the question of why zebras don’t get ulcers by reading Sapolsky’s book. But you will get answers to how you might reduce your own stress to the point of making life more enjoyable, or at least less unenjoyable. And this is no trivial matter. Pick up a copy of his book. Or get a snippet of it from his You Tube interview at:
What you’ll learn is this:
- Those who cope with stress successfully tend to seek control in the face of stressors but do not try to control things that have already come to pass. They do not try to control future events that are uncontrollable and do not try to fix things that are not broken or that are broken beyond repair.
- Find that outlet for your frustrations and do it regularly. Make the outlet benign to those around you – one should not give ulcers in order to avoid getting them.
- Stress, and how you handle or react to real or perceived stressors, are a huge and undervalued contributor to chronic disease.
- Some of these ideas are encompassed in Reinhold Neibuhr’s famous prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”