While I understand that this is a highly simplistic statement “your genetics are affected by lifestyle, ” it is absolutely true! Epigenetic science (the science of how our genetic code is influenced by a host of lifestyle factors) is revolutionary. Actual Western Medicine doctors are speaking out in greater numbers about the influence of everything from subconscious thoughts to holistic energy medicine, diet, yoga, your friends and yes, you environment upon your expressed genetic code. Indeed this means that when you polish up your life holistically, you will have a better chance of avoiding the less awesome genes you may carry.
Again, I am oversimplifying to say that we have a whole mess of genes in our bodies that give our cells instructions, but not all of these genes are “turned on.” For example, since just about every member of both sides of my family had heart disease, genetically I am somewhere loaded with these genes. However, I have zero signs of any heart disease issues, and don’t really feel that I ever will. My lifestyle is 100% different from my family. Does that mean I can outsmart my genes? To some degree, yes. I’ll still always get check-ups, but I am not sweating it!
The most exciting part of epigenetic research that I can see: it deeply shows that we have some degree of active control of our medical destiny. It shows, also, that lifestyle is not just a luxury, it has a direct and dramatic impact upon your genes. The recent statistics about sleep gave me chills: under 6 hours of sleep for over a week (which is typical) can have a negative impact on over 700 of your genes, lots that have to do with the immune system!
The Ozark Research Institute published a brilliant piece entitled EPIGENETICS: USING APPLIED CONSCIOUSNESS TO ACHIEVE WELLNESS AND WELL-BEING, by Jim Walden, Ed.D., R.Hy. I encourage you all to read it HERE. Not only does it provide a great overview of Epigenetics, it is packed with lifestyle action-tips from experts in mind-body medicine.
Mr. Walden includes a list of tips from Daniel Amen’s book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (an incredible book!!!) that will get you thinking wellness in a more profoundly cool way:
• Stay well-hydrated. Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
• Eat healthfully, adjusting the proportion of protein and carbohydrate to your brain needs.
• Think positive, healthy thoughts.
• Take time each day to focus on things you are grateful for in your life.
• Spend time with positive, uplifting people.
• Spend time with people you want to be like.
• Talk to others in loving, helpful ways.
• Surround yourself with great smells.
• Make a difference in the life of someone else.
• Regularly connect with your loved ones.
• Learn diaphragmatic breathing.
• Learn and use self-hypnosis and meditation on a daily basis.
• Focus on what you like a lot more than what you don’t like.
• Have meaning, purpose, excitement, and stimulation in your life.
• Establish eye contact with and smile frequently at others.
• Learn something new each day.
• Make beautiful music a part of your life.
So, when you are hemming and hawing over making positive decisions for yourself, please realize that each decision that supports your wellness can have an impact on you in profound, even biological, ways. May this inspire you today to “Follow Your Bliss” a bit more!
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