Episode #55: Using Stress to Your Benefit: Leveraging the Power of Hormesis and Eustress

June 21, 2024

About the Host:

This show is hosted by Dr. Chad Woolner, who is a chiropractor and a knowledgeable health and wellness advocate dedicated to guiding people through the noise and confusion surrounding health and wellness. Dr. Woolner focuses on time-tested strategies and empowers individuals with simple fundamentals of living well.

Episode Summary:

In the latest installment of the Health Fundamentals podcast, Dr. Chad Woolner dives into the intriguing topic of stress and its dual nature. Opening with an invitation to redefine our understanding of stress, this episode is a rich exploration of how stress, often vilified for its negative impacts, can actually be harnessed for our benefit.

Dr. Woolner begins by distinguishing between negative stress (distress) and positive stress (eustress), offering insight into the transformative power of the latter. Drawing from the work of endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye and contemporary experts like Dr. Kelly McGonigal and Dr. Anna Lembke, the episode seamlessly weaves together a narrative that challenges common misconceptions about stress. Furthermore, Dr. Woolner introduces "The Four Horsemen of Hormesis" – hot, cold, diet, and exercise – and elaborates on how these hormetic practices can enhance our body's resilience and performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stress can be dichotomized into negative (distress) and positive (eustress), with the latter having potential health benefits.
  • Dr. Hans Selye's concept of "eustress" highlights our ability to leverage stress positively through hormetic practices.
  • Books such as "The Upside of Stress" by Dr. Kelly McGonigal and "Dopamine Nation" by Dr. Anna Lembke offer in-depth perspectives on stress and pleasure.
  • The "Four Horsemen of Hormesis" – practices of hot, cold, diet (fasting), and exercise – are methods to utilize eustress to our advantage.
  • Breathwork, particularly "reset breathing," has profound effects on physical and emotional well-being and can improve CO2 tolerance, enhancing overall stress resilience.

Notable Quotes:

  • "99.9% of [chronic health problems] can be traced back to some type of negative stress, whether that be stress in its physical forms… chemical stress… or emotional stress."
  • "The truth transforming your health… is simpler than you've likely been led to believe."
  • "It's not necessarily the stress itself, but the perception of that stress in our lives… that makes it negative or positive."
  • "We have become a nation… addicted to dopamine in all its forms and varieties."
  • "You have such a high degree of control over your own body's physiology then you probably realize, or could even begin to believe or imagine."


No explicit resources such as URLs, articles, or social media handles are mentioned within the transcript provided.

Don't miss out on the fascinating insights shared in this episode about the transformative power of positive stress and the innovative ways we can incorporate it into our daily lives. Tune in for a refreshing perspective that promises to empower you with simple strategies for optimal living. Stay connected with the Health Fundamentals podcast for more enlightening content that simplifies the complexities of health and wellness.

Chad Woolner
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