All of us stress and you know the negative effects of cortisol and what that has on your health and your body weight, you know about the HPA axis, the HP what you say. You remember mum died and the three children, adrenal is a naughty one, so it gets more attention, and the other two suffer meaning possible compromised thyroid and sex hormone function. Also in an attempt to slow you down, the adrenals can have a direct negative consequences on the thyroid gland, making you feel sluggish and lethargic, which will hopefully make you rest. You also know all about blood sugar regulation, and host stress hormones can cause insulin to be thrown into a dysregulation, which can negatively affect your health and your body weight. We're all excited exposed to some kind of stress on a daily basis, so don't pretend that you're not influenced by stress. But of course, stress is a bit of a dirty word so rephrased it to total loads and total load according to British immunology statics con cards can be divided into three sections called the three P's of stress.
The first P is psychological, which all of us think of as a stress like anxiety and depression etc. The second P is physical, which could be a very manual job or too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply poor posture in your chair work for for too many hours. The third P is physiological, which could be anything from a bit of hay fever through IBS all the way to cancer. Any health imbalance in our body has a stress effect. I carry with me so far. I'm gonna add another layer of complexity to the stress equation.
And it's called sympathetic and parasympathetic, essentially what the Chinese would call Yin and Yang, sympathetic. The other phrase for that is fight or flight, which is what most of us do all day long nowadays, although we're only intended really to go into four phases. And the parasympathetic is relaxed and repair, or relaxed and restored, relax and digest. These are all phrases associated with it. It's what we should do when we sleep, although many of us don't even sleep that well. But we should also get periods during the day when we get into that relaxed state.
Our breathing is actually the key to the daily dynamic between fight and flight and relax and repair. So take a moment, set up nice and tall in your chair. Or you can stand up and put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Take a slow inhale and feel where you're extending. Is it just in the chest, which means you're shallow breathing, or are you getting more into the stomach, okay, so just take a moment. Nice, slow, slow breath in until you feel it expand against the hand on your belly.
And then slowly breathe out in a nice, relaxed way. Breathe in a second time and slowly act. So you can see just by doing two deep breaths, you can actually become a lot more connected to the relaxed aspect of your nervous system. Because when the pain create sorry, when the diaphragm moves, stimulates this parasympathetic, relaxing repair nervous system. So if you're breathing properly, you stay in a more relaxed state. Even if you're doing something that could be quite stressful.
If you're really, if you breathe better, that helps you. Here's a nice little tip to help you check in with your relaxation repair nervous system a bit more regularly. set a reminder on your phone or on your computer and goes off once an hour. And when it goes off, just set up nice and tall in your chair. Do that exercise, hand on the belly, hand on the chest. Breathe in and out nice and slowly 10 times focusing on extending that belly and then just go back to work.
It takes a minute out of your out of your life. So but it can improve your concentration on your work productivity just for that little bit of effort. To join us on 12 steps to wholesome nutrition, where I'll take you into mindfulness exercises around food and movement and exercise.