Profile PictureBrad Lemley

Abuse Yourself: Physical and Mental Health via Strategic Stress

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Success in life comes from strength.

But how do you become physically and mentally strong? And how do you stay that way?

Believe it or not, the best way is to abuse yourself.

In this book, I explore the extraordinary phenomenon called hormesis. Simply put, hormesis describes the process in which stress, physical and mental, leads to robust strength and health.

In fact, I am tempted to argue that hormesis is the only true path to strength and vibrant health.

A time-honored path.

It is an old idea. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “,” best translated as “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”

A biologist might more precisely say, “What stresses me within appropriate bounds resolves over time as more strength and resilience.”

However one phrases it, it’s a fundamental fact of physical and psychological health, confirmed by hundreds of modern scientific studies.

Nothing is more common, or more deadly, in the modern world than a life of endless comfort. 

Conversely, nothing will make you stronger, sharper and happier than discomfort. 

Dialing it in...

But here’s the vital point: You must experience the right amount of discomfort.

Too little and you’ll do yourself no good. Too much and the experience will be so unpleasant you may quit. Even worse, you could permanently damage yourself.

In this book, I examine 11 forms of stress, including high altitude, cold, heat, radiation and more, all of which have been scientifically proven to make organisms, including humans, stronger if they are experienced in just the right way - with the right intensity, the right duration, the right amount of rest and recovery. 

You'll learn how to use each of them to make yourself stronger, smarter, tougher and longer-lived. Yet none is so difficult that you'll be tempted to stop.

More good news: Not all stressors are uncomfortable. Believe it or not, alcohol is a hormetic stressor that’s associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. 

But you have to know what, and how much to drink. I’ll let you in on what’s best.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Hormesis heals and strengthens. Welcome to a new, better way to live.

About Brad Lemley

I am a science journalist who has written for the Washington Post, Discover Magazine and dozens of other national publications. I've written or co-written 10 books, most on health and fitness. I am a passionate advocate for self-directed, nature-based health care, and believe strongly that robust health is within reach of anyone who possesses the right information. 

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Abuse Yourself: Physical and Mental Health via Strategic Stress

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