People who carry a positive mental attitude are a pleasure to be around. They are kind, considerate, and generous with their time and smiles. They are also grateful and seem to always be in great health.
Practicing gratitude is one way to remain healthy and happy. In fact, studies show expressing gratitude improves sleep, relationships, and decision-making; three aspects of life we can’t get along without.
Although the visible benefits are obvious, a positive orientation to life also affects the body in ways we can’t see without a microscope.Attitude alters gene expression
We’ve been told all of our lives our genes determine everything about us: the color of our hair, our height, and even our potential for certain diseases. There’s no denying these traits (and others) were passed to us through our genes. However, there’s ample evidence that the expression of our genes can be changed.
Biologist Bruce Lipton, author of Biology of Belief discovered that our beliefs can alter our genetic expression.
To arrive at this conclusion, he performed various experiments where he removed the nucleus of cells (the nucleus contains the DNA). He was surprised to see that cells behaved normally with the nucleus removed. The cells were capable of respiration, digestion, reproduction, and other functions. This proved that a cell can function without DNA, therefore DNA doesn’t control the behavior of the cell.
Lipton’s next observation was that the cell only began breaking down when the proteins broke down. He discovered that environmental signals cause DNA’s protective sleeve of protein to open and select certain genes needed to react to the current environment. When the environment changes, so does gene expression.
“Basically, DNA is not the beginning of the chain reaction,” says Lipton. “Instead, the cell membrane’s perception of the environment is the first step. If there are no perceptions, the DNA is inactive.”
In his book, he explains how our beliefs change the environment of our cells and can alter genetic expression. This has huge implications for human health.Our understanding of genetics isn’t yet complete
Lipton isn’t the only one who discovered genetics aren’t what we once thought. We know rare diseases like Progeria and Down Syndrome are genetic. However, scientists launched the Human Genome Project with a hypothesis that all disease is genetic – even common conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and asthma. Although an interesting hypothesis, the research didn’t support it.
The lack of evidence from this project has caused confusion in the scientific community. If common diseases aren’t genetic, why do they seem to “run in the family?”
Families often share the same habits and attitudes, so it makes sense that conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes would run in the family. It doesn’t, however, make them genetic.Genetics is still awesome
Just because we haven’t arrived at a full understanding of the role genes play doesn’t mean genetics isn’t awesome. Your genetics can tell you where your family came from dating back thousands of years. With a DNA test, you can find out if you’re related to royalty, or if your great-great-great-great grandparents were part of the Mayflower crew.
If you’re curious about your ancestry, an at-home DNA kit can tell you plenty. There are a handful of reputable DNA testing companies, and while they all provide basic ethnicity DNA results, some provide the geographical regions your family comes from, and even your position in the family tree.
If you want to go further, some will test nutritional and health profiles, and tell you the diseases you’re at risk for. Of course, now you know you have the power to alter gene expression by altering your inner environment.
The idea that we can change our health by changing our thoughts has been around for decades. World-renowned author Louise Hay built a healing empire based on this principle after she healed herself from cancer. Hay healed herself in six months with a regimen of positive thoughts, visualization, affirmations, and nutritional cleansing.
This idea isn’t far off. For years I had tight hip flexors. I couldn’t sit cross-legged without stuffing a pillow underneath my right knee to keep it from bouncing around. After a few months of practicing gratitude, staying positive, and visualization, I sat down on the floor and my leg touched the ground. I was stunned yet delighted. For the first time in my life, I was able to bring my right leg over my left thigh for meditation.
People all over the world are experiencing the healing power of a positive attitude. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. The only thing you have to lose is a bad mood.
Originally published at Goodmenproject.com