Stress Strategy: How to Use Stress to Your Advantage (Ep. 119)

The College Info Geek PodcastDid you know that broccoli is actually toxic?

It’s true; every time you eat one of those delicious little trees, you’re subjecting your body to a small amount of toxicity. Oddly enough, though, that’s a good thing. It’s one of the reasons that broccoli is a “healthy” food.

You see, our bodies and minds have adapted to the harsh conditions of this world in such as a way that they actually improve when subjected to stress. That’s right – stress can be a good thing.

In the case of our toxic broccoli, the cells in your body experience stress in response to the chemicals it contains. This stress response ends up bolstering the cells – as long as the stress load isn’t too high and there’s time for recovery.

Mark Mattson, the chief of the neurosciences lab at the National Institute of Aging, explains this phenomenon in Dr. John Ratey’s book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain:

“Many of the beneficial chemicals in plans – vegetables and fruits – have evolved as toxins to dissuade insects and other animals from eating them. What they’re doing is inducing a mild, adaptive stress response in the cells. For example, in broccoli, there’s a chemical called sulforaphane, and it clearly activates stress response pathways in cells that upregulate antioxidant enzymes. Broccoli has antioxidants, but at the level you could get from your diet, they’re not going to function as antioxidants.”

Unfortunately, stress usually gets a bad rap in the press – undeservedly so. Stress itself isn’t bad – it’s chronic stress that should be avoided. Stress that persists for a long period of time is what can cause a lot of problems.

So in this episode, Martin and I will do our best to break down stress. Specifically, we’ll tackle:

  • The biology of stress
  • The negative effects of chronic stress
  • 10 things you can do to mitigate bad stress
  • How you can use stress to your advantage

Enjoy!

Things mentioned in this episode:

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! It’s easy, you’ll get new episodes automatically, and it also helps the show gain exposure 🙂 You can also leave a review!

Here’s an image for sharing this episode on social media:

Stress Strategy: How to Use Stress to Your Advantage

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

Want to Earn Better Grades?

Did you find this article useful?

Over 100,000 awesome students are learning how to dominate their classes, get more done, and land the jobs they want - and you should too.

Join in, and I'll also send you a free copy of my book on earning better grades!

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Stress Strategy: How to Use Stress to Your Advantage (Ep. 119)"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Nick Ho

Wow, this was great.

And it’s awesome you have show notes/links to easily look at/reference what you guys are talking about.

Nice podcast.

I’ve been stressing out a lot lately and this is great.

wpDiscuz
// Read This Next

How To Rock The Career Fair And Make Recruiters Love You

Want more? Join over 100,000 students and grab my free book on earning better grades  →