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Epi-what?

What is the science of epigenetics telling us regarding the genes we inherit?


It was the belief for a long time that we would inherit the genes of our parents/grandparents etc. and therefore any ailments that came along with them and that was that. We had to deal it. But the relatively new science of epigenetics shows us that is not the case.


Epi comes from the Greek meaning "above" "on top" or "as well as". Signifying that with epigenetics there is something else that comes into play "on top" or "as well as" the genes.


Where we once thought that the debilitating disease that your grandmother had could be passed down to you, we now know that regardless of what is in the genes that have been passed on, what matters is the environment you grow up in and the way you live your life that will be the more likely determining factor of whether that particular gene is "expressed" - whether you will get the disease or not.


So if you lead a relatively healthy life, eat fairly well for the most part, participate in moderate exercise and have a reasonably sound mental state with not much stress to speak of, chances are that disease gene that your grandma so generously passed down to you will not "switch on" and that you can rest easy knowing that your lifestyle, behaviours and beliefs have saved you from large hospital bills and a potentially early demise.


Do not forget that your thoughts play a big part in this. Consistently thinking of how you don't have enough money, how your partner "never listens to you", that your boss is the biggest jerk ever that will never give you the promotion you deserve etc. which in turn causes you to stress and therefore create an influx of cortisol in your body, could very well be the thing that causes that gene to switch on.


Don't think that just because you eat salads every day and exercise that you're golden. Your mindset is everything here. The key to your best life (and that pesky disease gene to stay dormant) is how you react to the world around you. Choosing to not react to a situation and practicing that skill, because it does take practice to get good at, is what will help you stay healthy, not only in mind but in body.


Much love and of course peace x

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