The Science of Stress: Evolution, Hormones, and Epigenetics

In order to understand stress, and what differentiates chronic stress from it’s temporary counterpart, we have to go back to evolutionary development and our hormonal regulation.


The hormones we secrete are extremely important in our stress regulation.

Evolution has allowed us to secrete these hormones in order to keep ourselves alive.

  1. Look at the mountain lion and decide that it could be your next dinner

Psychological Factors in Controlling Chronic Stress

There are certain behaviors we can engage in, in order to cope with chronic stress.

Epigenetic Influences on Stress Response

In 2005, researchers looked at how the licking and grooming behaviors of female rats towards their children affected the stress response of their own children. In essence, they were looking at the experience of how the rodents were raised, rather than their biological DNA, to determine their stress responsivity. Instead of genetic changes, they looked at epigenetic influences.

Genes are a part of our destiny; not our whole destiny.

The hippocampus itself is crucial for both learning and memory, especially short-term memory. Damage to the hippocampus prevents you from being able to form new memories. The hippocampus also has a very high density of glucocorticoid receptors.

  1. Activation of the HPA axis

16 y/o working in healthtech & women’s health | a collection of my thoughts |