Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging


Huberman Lab

In this episode, my guest is Elissa Epel, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the author of a new book entitled "The Stress Prescription." We discuss her work showing how stress impacts mood, eating behavior, mental health, physical health, and aging. She explains stress intervention tools using “top-down” techniques (e.g., radical acceptance, mindfulness, reframing), body-based methods (e.g., breathwork) including the Wim Hof Method, exercise, meditation, body scans, and environmental shifts proven to help people cease unhealthy rumination patterns. We discuss how stress can positively impact psychology and sense of purpose, how stress affects cellular aging, how our narratives of stressful events impact our mood and biology, and how to effectively reframe stress. She explains science-based techniques to break stress-induced cycles of craving and overeating and thereby improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. Dr. Epel provides a wide range of tools shown to be effective in reducing stress and improving various aspects of our health.

For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. Elissa Epel

(00:02:33) Sponsors: LMNT & Waking Up

(00:06:18) Stress; Effects on Body & Mind

(00:12:50) Tools: Overthinking & Stress

(00:15:37) Acute, Moderate & Chronic Stress, Breathing

(00:21:23) Stress Benefits, Aging & Cognition; Stress Challenge Response

(00:27:23) Sponsor: AG1 (Athletic Greens)

(00:32:19) Tool: Shifting Stress to Challenge Response, “Stress Shields”

(00:37:400 Stress, Overeating, Craving & Opioid System

(00:48:55) Tools: Breaking Overeating Cycles, Mindfulness

(00:54:44) Soda & Sugary Drinks

(01:00:51) Smoking, Processed Food & Rebellion

(01:06:47) Tools: Mindfulness, Pregnancy & Metabolic Health

(01:14:11) Body Scan & Cravings

(01:17:28) Tool: Meditation & Aging; Meditation Retreats

(01:23:35) Meditation, Psychedelics & Neuroplasticity

(01:26:02) Mitochondrial Health, Stress & Mood

(01:29:49) Chronic Stress & Radical Acceptance, “Brick Wall”

(01:37:57) Tool: Control, Uncertainty

(01:45:25) Stress Management, “Skillful Surfing”

(01:50:25) Narrative, Purpose & Stress

(01:52:49) Breathwork, Wim Hof Method, Positivity & Cellular Aging

(02:03:11) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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