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Huberman Lab

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Mar 8, 2021

This episode explains what stress is, and how it recruits our brain and body to react in specific ways. I describe the three main types of stress, and how two of them actually enhance the function of our immune system making us less vulnerable to infections. I review tools that allow us to control our stress in real time, as well as tools to prevent long term stress, burnout and stress-induced illness and anxiety. As always, we cover behavioral tools and supplements that can assist or hinder stress control.

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Timestamps below.

  • 00:00:00 Introduction
  • 00:04:41 Emotions: A Logical Framework of Brain-Body Loops
  • 00:10:29 Stress: The (Falsely Narrow) Animal Attack Narrative
  • 00:14:31 The Stress RESPONSE: Generic, Channels blood, Biases Action
  • 00:21:08 Tools to Actually Control Stress: Reduce Alertness or Increase Calm
  • 00:24:15 The Fastest Way to Reduce Stress In Real Time: “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia”
  • 00:29:45 The Fastlane to Calm
  • 00:34:53 Important Notes About Heart Rate Deceleration: Vaso-vagal Lag
  • 00:36:50 Cyclic Sighing For Calm and Sleep Induction
  • 00:37:57 Nasal Breathing For Cosmetic, Immune and Performance Enhancement
  • 00:38:46: Two Breathing Centers In The Brain
  • 00:39:45 Breathing For Speaking Clearly
  • 00:40:39 The 3 Types of Stress: Short, Medium and Long-Term
  • 00:42:10 Positive Effects of Short-Term Stress: Immunity and Focus
  • 00:45:32 Adrenalin (Epinephrine) Deploys Killer Immune Cells
  • 00:46:40 Cyclic Deep Breathing IS Stress: Wim Hof, Tummo & Super-Oxygenation
  • 00:50:58 Inflammation Is Useful and Good, In the Short Term
  • 00:52:02 Procrastination and Self-Manufactured Nootropics
  • 00:53:00 Relaxation Can Causes Illness
  • 00:54:30 Immune Activation Protocol
  • 00:55:20 Medium Term Stress: A Clear Definition
  • 00:56:07 Stress Threshold
  • 00:57:10 Stress Inoculation Tools: Separating Mind & Body, On Purpose
  • 00:59:50 Use Vision to Calm the Mind When the Body Is Agitated
  • 01:02:36 Beyond NSDR
  • 01:04:36 Long Term Stress: Definition, Measurement, Cardiovascular Risks
  • 01:06:30 Tools for Dealing With Long Term Stress
  • 01:08:20 The Oxytocin Myth
  • 01:09:15 Serotonin: Satiety, Safety
  • 01:12:00 Delight and Flexibility
  • 01:13:30 Chemical Irritants We Make But Can Control: Tackykinin
  • 01:15:40 Impactful Gratitude
  • 01:16:25 Non-Prescription Chemical Compounds For Additional Anti-Stress Support
  • 01:18:04 Melatonin: Cautionary Note About Adrenal Suppression
  • 01:19:15 Adrenal Burnout Is A Myth… But Why You Need to Know About It Anyway
  • 01:21:10 L-Theanine For Stress Reduction and Task Completion Anxiety
  • 01:23:00 Beware Taurine and Energy Drinks With Taurine
  • 01:23:30 Ashwagandha: Can Powerfully Lower Anxiety And Cortisol
  • 01:25:50 Is An Amazing Free Resource
  • 01:26:20 How This All Relates to Emotions: State Versus Demand = Valence
  • 01:32:00 Modulating Reactivity, Mindfulness, & Functionality With Objective Tools
  • 01:34:00 Next Steps
  • 01:35:40 Topic Suggestions, Subscriptions and Reviews Please
  • 01:37:40 Additional Resources, Synthesis


Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

[Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac]