What would you say if I told you that you could change your DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)? Is that possible? Sounds radical and at odds with everything your high school biology teacher taught you about DNA, doesn’t it? Well, it turns out that our old-school thinking about our DNA is due for an update. While the biological DNA with which you’re born contains fixed traits such as eye, hair and skin color, scientists are learning that its general nature is dynamic, not static as is commonly believed, and that our actions and behavior influence how our DNA evolves during our lives.
Deepak Chopra writes about this idea in his 2009 book “Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul:” “You were born with some predispositions that will determine how your body turns out, yet as you inject your own desires, habits and intentions, a fixed trait can turn out to be very malleable – a mere wisp of desire is enough to affect DNA.” A January 2010 article in Time magazine stated: “At its most basic, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation. These patterns of gene expression are governed by the cellular material — the epigenome — that sits on top of the genome, just outside it (hence the prefix epi-, which means above). It is these epigenetic “marks” that tell your genes to switch on or off, to speak loudly or whisper. It is through epigenetic marks that environmental factors like diet, stress and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on genes that is passed from one generation to the next.
The way you take care of yourself has a lot to do with your overall health and wellness. LifestyleDNA refers to the health and lifestyle choices that we make every day that directly affect how we feel, how we look, and even how we interact with and treat others. We have a tremendous opportunity to upgrade and improve our lives if we focus our energy on enhancing our LifestyleDNA. Doing so means being more active, eating more healthy foods, and making use of modern medicine’s lifesaving technologies, but it also means changing how you approach such things as past mistakes and misfortunes and unhealthy relationships.
What lifestyle choices are you making to live happier, healthier and more energized? Please post your comments—we can learn from each other!