What happens to your body under stress?

Dr David Plans

Stress starts in the mind, but it can take an enormous toll on the body too. Left unchecked, it can even prove fatal. What is stress, from a scientific perspective, and how does it wreak havoc on our bodies when we're in a state of burnout?

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Stress. Your heart races, you feel overwhelmed, you may get dizzy or hot or sweaty. At some point in our lives we have all experienced that feeling, but what is actually happening to our bodies from a scientific perspective when our minds are under stress?

Dr David Plans almost died of stress, suffering a heart attack at the age of 30 and flatlining in the ambulance. When he was resuscitated, paramedics told David that "suits like him" usually die. The experience changed his life. David pivoted his work to the physiology, psychology and neuroscience of human stress, retraining as a neuroscientist and experimental psychologist.

In his Garden talk, David explores what happens to your body when it's under emotional stress. Why does your body treat stress like a physical threat? Why do we stop feeling hunger and thirst when we are stressed? And why do we stop feeling our bodies?

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50 minutes


The Unconscious Mind

About the Fellow

Dr David Plans

David's work initially focused on music and artificial intelligence, but when he nearly died of a heart attack, he changed his life. He retrained as a neuroscientist and experimental psychologist, focusing on the effects of burnout on the mind and body.

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The Unconscious Mind Collection

The unconscious mind is a vast unmapped territory of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that sit just outside our awareness. Luckily, our intrepid Garden Fellows are at the forefront of exploring it, and they're taking you with them on the journey.

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