Have you ever felt like you simply have bad genes? Do certain disorders run in your family? Well, the good news is that we are not slaves to our genetics. The science of epigenetics shows us that we can control our gene expression. Meaning which genes get turned on and which remain dormant. Thereby bypassing the blueprint of our genetic code, and consciously designing the the environmental “home” our cells live in.
How do we do this, turn our genes on or off? Simply speaking, by the choices we make every day about how we eat, exercise, sleep, and think. (The toxic level of our physical environment also plays a role, but we have less influence over that).
Perhaps the most important piece to the puzzle of gene expression is how we think…our belief system. This is because our thoughts and feelings affect our emotions, which in turn affect our cells, which in turn affect our genes.
The biochemistry of this phenomena is fairly straight forward. Emotions elicit neurotransmitter and hormonal responses in the body that send chemical signals to the cells directing their behavior, which includes how cells are replicated. These chemical messengers have a direct effect on the gene sequencing of the DNA, and therefore the health of our cells, which make up our tissues, which make up our organs, which make up our body. Positive emotions lead to healthy new cells, negative emotions can lead to unhealthy new cells.
Feelings like gratitude, compassion, love, joy, contentment, peace, and happiness can help us all enjoy healthier longer lives. We all have something, or hopefully many things that bring us joy everyday. Whether that is the love of our partner, children or pet, a great bike ride, a walk in the woods, or just peaceful time to ourselves. Like the popular saying goes, “whatever makes you happy, do that!”
If you are at a place in your life where these feelings are not a part of your everyday existence, then take 5 minutes to close your eyes, pull up memories of loving, happy times, put a hand on your heart and breathe deeply. This simple exercise will flood your body with the chemical messengers of rest, recovery, health and longevity…plus it feels great. Oh ya, that’s the point.
When we feel better we tend to make healthier choices in general. We are in control. So, rather than throwing up our hands and saying, “I have bad genes”, perhaps we could take more responsibility for the choices we make on a daily basis, and actually direct our genes to work FOR us.
As a wellness and lifestyle coach I can guide you to better choices that are in your highest best interest. Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 301-332-5732.