The Stress Prescription With Dr. Elissa Epel

How to manage stress and use stress to your benefit

elissa epel

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Dr. Elissa Epel

Elissa Epel, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center as well. 

She studies psychological, social and behavioral processes related to chronic stress and how it affects health. She has conducted extensive research on the biological processes of aging with a focus on toxic stress.

She’s a New York Times bestselling author and her newest book, "The Stress Prescription," provides strategies for managing stress and turning it into your strength

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How the pandemic affected everyone’s stress levels
  • The difference between acute and chronic stress
  • Why stress is sometimes looked at as a badge of honor
  • The population who is most affected by stress right now
  • The population that seems most resilient to stress 
  • The most common reasons people feel stressed out
  • The health issues stress puts you at risk for
  • How some stress is good for you
  • The first question you should ask yourself when you wake up in the morning
  • How to transition between work and home so you don’t bring work stress home with you
  • How to focus on things you can control
  • How to engage in deep rest
  • The restorative effects of nature
  • Why you should eat dinner with family or friends
  • How to practice radical acceptance
  • Why scrolling through social media doesn’t actually relieve stress

Quotes From Dr. Epel

Elissa Epel, PhD

Why not use the power of the body to change the mind to relieve anxiety?

— Elissa Epel, PhD
  • "I think that in certain subgroups, it's kind of cool to be stressed. It's a badge of honor to say, 'I stayed up all night' and to complain about the list of stressors."
  • "There's plenty of research showing that having [a] family structure and having family dinners is related to lower stress [and] better coping in children."

More About the Podcast

The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you. 

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.