Preventable Stress [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Mary_Wingo_Preventable_StressGuest: Dr. Mary Wingo
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Mary Wingo earned a Ph.D. in Human Stress Research from The University of North Texas. She emigrated to Ecuador, in South America, her eyes were opened to the unsustainable social, economic, and political costs preventable stress causes in the modern world. Dr. Wingo’s aim is to clearly explain to the public the biological mechanisms behind the stress response, as well as its staggering costs to society.

Segment overview: Dr. Mary Wingo, Ph.D, and human stress expert, discusses how to protect your health, and how to avoid over-loading the body’s stress response.

Health Professional Radio – Preventable Stress

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you for joining us here on Health professional Radio. Our guest in studio is returning to speak with us Dr. Mary Wingo, earned her PhD in Human Stress Research from the University of North Texas, immigrated to Ecuador, a tiny country in South America. And while living in a new and very different society, her eyes were opened to well the unsustainable social, economic and political costs, preventable stress causes in the modern world. Welcome to Health Professional Radio today Dr. Wingo.

Dr. Mary Wingo: Oh, thank you Neal. Thank you for the wonderful intro.

N: My pleasure. Talk about this new book. Why did you write the book?

W: Well like I said I wrote the book because I see what state that we’re in and I actually didn’t want to write any book because I knew that it was really gonna be a pound of flesh and boy it was, it was a pound of flesh but I wrote it because where we’re coming at, where we’re at right now, I figure more than ever people needed this. And I’m not talking just folks in the US or in Europe, I’m talking every community around the world. It’s needed, it was about time and it was needed.

N: Well the stress of I guess writing a book is not like you just woke up and decided to write this book, you’ve been on a journey of learning. Is that right?

W: (Laughs) Yes it’s a little bit of understatement. (Laughs) No, seriously I can’t even begin to tell you the journey of this book, it was what is it, the seven rings of hell because again this is, it covers so much. It covers like so many aspects, you get a little bit loopy when you start looking at all different aspects of the, just human stress response and it’s a little kind of makes you little bit crazy, it’s a little bit nerve-racking.

N: Well we have the ability to I guess adapt to different situations, all types of situations and environments. Your book, is it more than just another self-help book?

W: Oh yeah. Well number one it covers the science. I mean and we’re not talking okay well we get increased cortisol and increased adrenaline levels and then this happens and that happens and the…No, no, no, no. These are one big I should say choreographed response, okay so we’re talking a bunch of mechanisms, the cascade to meet an end result and what that is, what stress is, it allows your body to temporarily, whatever organ that is stressed to become more, temporarily more temporarily plastic so it can rearrange itself to function better in the new environment. So it’s kind of like, it’s a mechanism for which you become jellified, so you can get your wits about you and you can figure out what the new environment is. An example of this is altitude, adjusting to altitude and I know this personally, when you are living 82,000 ft. you don’t have the red blood cells, you don’t have the network of capillaries for which that absorb the O2 molecules from your…this needs to reorganize because the air is much, much thinner and so it takes several months, if not more to completely reorganize…. but that’s just an example, a very easy to understand example and that’s what the stress response allows us to do.

N: If we’re fighting, battling stress every day and some of us we might be police officers or surgeons, you yourself a PhD, you’re battling these stressors. When do we start to abuse these stress, these mechanisms rather than just use them the way that they were meant to be used?

W: Well understand that stress is supposed to be used periodically. It’s supposed to be employed periodically, it’s not supposed to be a grinding even if it’s small stuff. Again, you think that sitting in traffic every day, oh I remember that in Dallas, I don’t miss it, it makes no difference in your life, well doing the same after day after day after day after day for 20 years culminates into something no good ultimately and so remember that you use it like sort of like you would use a nitrous oxide boost on your engine, you don’t use it all the time, your turbo will be boost. You use it at only when you need it, okay and not and that is how we are meant, that is how we are constructed. Totally overusing this mechanism every day, every second of the day is gonna do nothing but just kill you young.

N: Now talk about the easiest ways that we can avoid some of these stressors, control some of these stressors and improve our health.

W: Well, okay like for instance like if you’re already, like I said before this is extremely important. If you’re already stressed, okay, really understand what a stressor looks like and do not add anymore, okay. It’s very, very important especially emotional stress, not to add anymore. So if you got a stressful job, the last thing you need is a stressful home life, okay? So that you need peace and quiet home for instance, that’s extremely important. Go ahead.

N: Wasn’t it Thoreau that the simple life…?

W: As a matter of fact Thoreau, I’ve got a little part in the very end of my book which makes a reference to Thoreau. Thoreau is probably the greatest American Philosopher other than… in American history, yes in fact he has greatly influenced my thinking and probably influenced much of this book and so yes simplify, simplify, simplify. I can’t say this enough especially to people who are under a tremendous amount of stress. The stuff that you can control, you got to simplify.

N: And where can our listeners get a copy of your latest book?

W: They can go to my website,, they can get a free excerpt with the video tutorial and they can also purchase the book from and I’ve got lots of fun, provocative material on my website it’s gonna ruff off a lots of feathers.

N: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. In studio with Dr. Mary Wingo, PhD and Human Stress Expert in studio talking about her book The Impact of the Human Stress Response. Transcripts of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.


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