Reducing stress starts with finding one activity you can control, says Dr. Sanjay Gupta

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates the epidemic level that constant stress is having on Americans’ health today in his latest project, the HBO documentary “One Nation Under Stress.” During a “Salon Talks” episode he shared his personal tips for controlling stress and regaining control amidst life’s unpredictable stressors.

The film, which premieres March 25 on HBO, goes deep on why Americans are experiencing decreased life expectancy today, and how the root causes are all stress-related, self-inflicted conditions, including opioid overdose, alcohol-related liver cirrhosis, obesity and suicide.

“You have plenty of examples around the world of truly capitalistic societies that do not suffer the way the United States is suffering right now,” Dr. Gupta shared. “They continue to have increasing life expectancy, they continue to have decreasing mortality and decreasing levels of stress. The United States is unique in this regard and that's the part that fascinated me the most.”

Americans’ stress, instead, tends to originate from this feeling that things seem unjust, Gupta explained. “We've espoused this idea of rugged individualism, but if you have to look at what's unique about America and what's probably driving these drops in life expectancy, dashed expectations, blatant glaring inequality, those two things in combination seem to be a big part of it.”

Watch the video above to hear what Dr. Gupta uses in his own life to cope with stress and check out the full episode to hear more about the HBO documentary “One Nation Under Stress.”

About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on

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