Are stress tolerant and stress resilient different or the same

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The terms "stress tolerant" and "stress resilient" refer to different concepts in stress management. Here's a breakdown of each:

  • Stress Tolerance: This refers to the ability to endure stress without significant negative impacts. Individuals with high stress tolerance can manage higher levels of stress without experiencing immediate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or burnout. Essentially, they are able to tolerate stress better, but it does not necessarily mean they recover quickly or adapt positively long-term.

  • Stress Resilience: This is about the ability to recover from stress. Resilient individuals not only handle stress well but also bounce back more quickly after stressors. They often see challenges as opportunities and maintain a positive outlook, leading to healthier physiological responses and potentially slower aging. Resilience involves an adaptive process where individuals grow and improve their coping mechanisms over time 1 2.

In summary, stress tolerance is about enduring stress, while stress resilience is about recovering and possibly benefiting from it. Both concepts are valuable, but resilience is generally considered more advantageous for long-term health and well-being 3.

Psychological Stress Response

Elissa and Andrew discuss the different types of psychological stress response and how the challenge response can promote stress resilience. By viewing stressors as a challenge rather than a threat, individuals can activate a healthier hemodynamic response and maintain a positive outlook, leading to less inflammation and slower aging.

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Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
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Can you give examples of each?

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Examples of Stress Tolerance

Stress Tolerance relates to the capacity to endure stress without major immediate adverse effects. For instance:

  • Medications for Distress Tolerance: Dr. Paul Conti discusses how medications can help improve distress tolerance. Certain medications can ease the symptoms of stress, making people better able to handle stressors without significant immediate negative impacts. For example, low doses of certain antidepressants or antipsychotics can help individuals handle stress more effectively by reducing overactivity in distress centers of the brain 1. This helps them endure stressful situations without quick onset of symptoms like anxiety or agitation.

Examples of Stress Resilience

Stress Resilience involves bouncing back from stress and possibly gaining a positive outcome. Key examples include:

  • Physical Exercise: Regular physical exercise is known to promote stress resilience. Exercise induces mild stress but leads to the production of neurochemicals beneficial for brain health and stress recovery, such as endorphins and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) 2.

  • Mindfulness Practices: Practices like mindfulness meditation help build resilience by training the mind to return to a baseline calm state more quickly after encountering stress, fostering improved recovery and adaptation mechanisms over time 3.

    Medicines and Therapy

    Paul Conti explains how medicines can help individuals engage in therapy productively, and how the categorization of medicines can limit their effectiveness. He highlights the importance of understanding the diagnosis and level of severity, and how medicines can improve distress tolerance and intervene in negative pathways. He also discusses the limitations of the current medical system and how it leads to over-prescription of medication.

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    Dr. Paul Conti: Therapy, Treating Trauma & Other Life Challenges | Huberman Lab Podcast #75
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In summary, stress tolerance is about the capacity to withstand stress, often facilitated by medications or coping strategies, whereas stress resilience is about recovering and adapting positively after stress, often enhanced by lifestyle practices like exercise and mindfulness.

RELATED QUESTIONS

Is stress tolerance bad?

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Stress tolerance can be a double-edged sword. While it allows individuals to endure stress without immediate adverse effects, long-term high stress tolerance can have detrimental health consequences.

notes that chronic stress disrupts the feedback loop involving cortisol and other stress hormones. This disruption can lead to a positive feedback loop, causing more stress and leading to significant health issues like metabolic dysfunction, increased risk of depression, and type 2 diabetes 1.

Additionally, people with high cortisol levels, which contribute to stress tolerance, often suffer from long-term negative effects. These include higher rates of depression, metabolic dysfunction, and other health problems. Essentially, while high stress tolerance might seem adaptive in some professions like the military or medicine, it can be maladaptive over time 2.

Therefore, while stress tolerance has its benefits, it is crucial to manage and mitigate stress for long-term health.

Chronic Stress Effects

Andrew explains how chronic stress can lead to a positive feedback loop that causes changes in gene regulation and transcription. Chronic stress can also lead to increased consumption of sugar and fat, which can result in type two diabetes and dysfunction in adrenal output. It's important to learn how to turn off the stress response to avoid these negative effects.

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Using Cortisol & Adrenaline to Boost Our Energy & Immune System Function | Huberman Lab Podcast #18
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RELATED QUESTIONS

Is high tolerance and high resilience good?

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High tolerance and high resilience can indeed be beneficial, but it's essential to understand the nuances and potential trade-offs associated with these traits.

Benefits

  1. Mental Health: Being comfortable with uncertainty is a significant resilience factor, leading to reduced anxiety and depression. People who tolerate uncertainty recover more quickly from stressful events 1.
  2. Stress Management: Developing the ability to handle stress through resilience-building practices, such as cold exposure, can better prepare individuals for real-life stressors. These practices help regulate the body's stress response, maintaining calm and clarity under pressure 2.
  3. Emotional Range: Building a high tolerance for a wide range of emotions enhances resilience. People who can navigate various emotions, both positive and negative, tend to handle life's challenges more effectively 3.

    Building Resilience

    Elissa discusses the importance of being comfortable with uncertainty and how it can lead to less anxiety and depression. She shares practices to help build resilience, such as reframing uncertainty as the beauty of life and adopting a receptive posture.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
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Drawbacks

  1. Health Risks: Chronic high stress tolerance without adequate management can lead to health issues, such as metabolic dysfunction and increased depression risk. It's essential to balance resilience with effective stress-relief practices 4.
  2. Adaptation Limits: While high tolerance allows for enduring stress, explains that continually pushing through without varying your stress management techniques can plateau the benefits. It's similar to always lifting the same heavy weights without varying your workout routine 2.

In conclusion, while high tolerance and resilience are advantageous, they should be balanced with practices that manage and alleviate stress to avoid long-term health implications. Building resilience through varied and thoughtful practices ensures sustained mental and physical health benefits.

RELATED QUESTIONS

Doesn't high stress resilience encompass high tolerance as well?

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High stress resilience does indeed encompass high tolerance, particularly in terms of uncertainty and mental flexibility.

Psychologist , in a discussion with , emphasizes that being comfortable with uncertainty is a significant resilience factor. People who have a higher tolerance for uncertainty tend to experience less anxiety and depression, and they recover more quickly from stressful events. This tolerance is not a fixed personality trait but something that can be developed through specific practices, such as mindfulness and reframing uncertainty as a positive element of life 1.

So, in essence, high resilience incorporates a high tolerance for uncertainty and stress, and both can be improved through intentional practices.

Building Resilience

Elissa discusses the importance of being comfortable with uncertainty and how it can lead to less anxiety and depression. She shares practices to help build resilience, such as reframing uncertainty as the beauty of life and adopting a receptive posture.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
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RELATED QUESTIONS

So is this correct? High stress tolerance is essential being unaffected by stressors, maintaining clarity and calmness during a stressful event. But this person can still eventually crumble under the stress. High stress resilience is bouncing back to a state of calm and clear after having been affected by stress. So to have a high tolerance and be affected for a greater than average period is good, but when the negative effects might creep in, high stress resilience gets you back to the calm and clear. Yeah? No?

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Based on the insights from and , your interpretation is largely correct but can be refined with some additional nuances.

High Stress Tolerance

  • Definition: Being able to stay unaffected by stressors, maintaining clarity and calmness during a stressful event.
  • Limitations: This capacity can be outpaced by extreme or continuous stress, leading to eventual breakdown if the stressor is relentless or overwhelming.
  • Quote: High stress tolerance does not necessarily mean you will be unaffected forever. It is more about your initial reaction to stress versus your eventual reaction 1.

High Stress Resilience

  • Definition: The ability to bounce back to a state of calm and clarity after experiencing stress.
  • Benefit: Enables recovery and adaptation after being affected by stress, enhancing long-term performance and health.
  • Support: People who tolerate uncertainty tend to experience less anxiety and recover faster from stress 2.
  • Practice: Resilience involves engagement with moderate stressors, leading to building stress fitness and a positive outlook that promotes recovery 1.

Integration

  • Balance: High resilience complements high tolerance by allowing one to recover swiftly when the high tolerance is eventually overcome. This dynamic interplay helps in maintaining long-term well-being.
  • Mindset and Practices: Distinguishing between situations to "muscle through" (stress tolerance) and when to "release and regenerate" (stress resilience) is crucial. This combination is more energetically efficient and leads to improved stress management 3.

    Psychological Stress Response

    Elissa and Andrew discuss the different types of psychological stress response and how the challenge response can promote stress resilience. By viewing stressors as a challenge rather than a threat, individuals can activate a healthier hemodynamic response and maintain a positive outlook, leading to less inflammation and slower aging.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Elissa Epel: Control Stress for Healthy Eating, Metabolism & Aging | Huberman Lab Podcast
    1
    2
    3

Overall, having both high stress tolerance and resilience is advantageous, as they serve different but complementary functions in managing and recovering from stress.

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