Science never ceases to amaze us. It has now revealed that our thoughts and perspectives affect our genes, rather than the other way round. Every second of every day your body reacts physically to your thoughts. Just thinking of something causes the brain to release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters which can control all the body’s functions, from digestion to hormones, to your feelings , they can make you feel sad, happy or stressed. The neurotransmission happens continuously, and the neural activity has been seen to change the neural structure. Experiments have shown that our genes are affected by our thoughts. How is this possible? Take a look at some scientific research which says so:
Dr. Lipton’s groundbreaking experiment
Dr. Lipton conducted experiments which proved that your perspectives affect your biology. In one experiment, he isolated a stem cell and put it in a petri dish, in which the cell kept dividing every 3 hours. The cells then were split up in 3 groups and placed in 3 different petri dishes. Each dish had a different growth medium. The first dish cells formed bone, the second muscle and the third dish cells changed into fat cells.
All the cells were the same genetically initially, but they all formed different cells at the end of the experiment. It was therefore noted that the difference in the environment caused the difference in the cells, which means that your genes do respond to the environment they are in.
This experiment leads to the assumption that we can change our behaviour pattern and change our illnesses or life situations.
How do your thoughts activate your genes
It seems your thoughts affect your genes. According to the advances in Epigenetics, you are actually the product of things that have happened to you. Changes that you go through also change the way that your genes operate.
Genes are switched off and on, according to the experiences of your life. Your lifestyle and genes form a loop that feeds off each other. You cannot alter your genes, but you can change your genetic activity, which means that you can alter the activity of hundreds of enzymes, proteins etc, which regulate cells.
As only 5% genetic mutations are considered to be the main cause of health problems, 95% genes are connected to diseases as influencers. They can be influenced either positively or negatively by life factors. Childhood events are beyond your control, but factors such as stress, exercise and diet can be controlled.
The perception we had for years is that we cannot avoid our destiny, which we are born with, even in the case of diseases. But Epigenetics has shown that your thoughts actually control your biology.
By making a change to your thoughts, you can shape and influence your genetic makeup. Research is emphasizing the mind-body connection, down to the level of your genes. It is stating that positive mental care directly influences physical health.
Thoughts can sculpt the brain
Since every thought creates a different neurochemical change, which could be permanent or temporary, it makes sense to think positive. If you practice gratitude, you are rewarded with alertness and happiness, due to dopamine, which is one of the rewarding neurotransmitters.
In a study conducted on college students who were in love, students’ brains became more active when they were shown the photos of their sweethearts. Their ‘caudate nucleus’, one of the reward centers in the brain, was activated and gave them the experience of happiness. When the photos were removed, the reward centers were deactivated. So even if you are unaware of the physical reactions and changes in your brain, your thoughts do have an effect on your brain. Regions in the brain make new connections, and existing connections become stronger. For example, navigating the huge maze of London streets made the hippocampus (region of your brain which involves spatial-visual memory) larger in taxi drivers who had been driving taxis for a long time.
Your thoughts program cells
A thought is really an electrochemical event in the nerve cells. Thoughts produce peptides, and negative thoughts produce negative peptides which program the cells to anticipate negativity, and the same happens with positive thoughts.
Every cell is replaced in about two months, so you have the chance to reprogram your cells and your genes in a positive manner which will be positive for your emotional and physical health.