The influence of our environment on our DNA is called epigenetics. Dr. Richard Davidson notes in his book The Emotional Life of Your Brain that we have the power to command the traits our DNA expresses through the idea of epigenetics. Dr. Bruce Lipton also illuminates this in his book The Biology of Belief. Basically, our DNA is a warehouse of code. Not all of the code needs to be expressed simply because it exists in the warehouse.
The environment we find ourselves in, and the situations we choose to engage in, cause hormonal and chemical responses in the body. These can create methyl groups that basically sit on certain genes, disabling them from being expressed. That means environmental factors can influence genetic expression.
Consider this study done by McGill University in 2004.
In studies done with rats, the licking and nurturing from the mother caused methyl groups to be formed on genes that would otherwise express as anxiety. Rat pups born to mothers with anxiety obviously had the anxiety gene. At birth they were taken from one mother and given to a mother rat who didn’t have the gene for anxiety. Because this new mother was not anxious they noted she licked the pups far more. The reaction to the licking silenced the expression of the anxiety gene. Conversely, rats who didn’t nurture their pups created pups who were anxious based on the active gene they had.
The choices we make about how we both perceive the world AND relate to it have a vast impact on our individual genetic expression and the expression of our species.
What ONE negative view of the world will you choose to change today?
What is ONE way you will nurture yourself today?
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