Mind-Body Research

Can Thoughts Change DNA?

mind is your body and affects your DNA post.

State of Nature

Contrary to what Hobbes said about the state of nature being “nasty, brutish and short,” your body’s natural state is a state of health. Homeostasis; all the parts working together in equilibrium for the united purpose that the whole runs smoothly.

Relaxing the body-mind and taking action appropriate to the situation is vital to gaining as much productive quality time as possible for yourself. Taking appropriate action necessitates that you have an accurate view of yourself and the world and how it works.

We Like to Feel Good.

Dr. Candace Pert says they we are “hardwired for bliss;” remove the non-essentials and let your body-mind do its thing. Remove your worries — if you can’t do anything about [whatever it is] today, then stop thinking about it. Plan your action and write it down for later if you must, but for now the most appropriate action to the situation is to stop thinking about it. Fretting about something you can’t change is insane. If you see your world as one without ordered intelligence, your mind will adapt to this perceived environment and will function accordingly. Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing thought of psychosis as a rational adaptation to an insane world. If you want to be of a sane mind that functions according to an accurate model of reality, view your world as having an underlying order, inherent consistency and interrelatedness that becomes more clear as you step back from the trees and perceive the forest.

You are How You Think

Lloyd’s Hypothesis: Everything that’s worth understanding about a complex system, can be understood in terms of how it processes information. (Seth Lloyd) What are the beliefs and values you choose to structure you? — How do you process information? Do you view the universe as friendly?

Beliefs and values have a measurable impact on how we experience our environment. Stress appropriate to the situation builds strength, but stress-filled reactions in a safe environment interfere with the natural functioning of your body.

Hmm. I knew that.

As mentioned, Dr. Candace Pert is the pioneering neuropharmacologist who made the discovery that “neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are also on cell walls of the immune system, [which] shows a close association with emotions and suggests that emotions and health are deeply interdependent.” [source.] From the same excellent article:

Research has indicated that an inextricable chemical link exists between our emotions, which includes all stress in our lives, both good and bad, and the regulatory systems of the endocrine and immune systems through the central nervous system. This research emphasises the importance of expressing our emotions both verbally and physically in an appropriate way. When strong emotions generate fear, anger or rage and these are not expressed in a healthy way, then the body’s natural response is that of the sympathetic nervous system as demonstrated in Cannon’s research on homeostasis and the fight or flight syndrome. At this point, inappropriate storing of these stressful emotions produces an excess of epinephrine. This excess of epinephrine causes a chemical breakdown, resulting in internal weakening of the immune system and an increased potential for disease.

The Answer is Yes.

And yes, you can change your DNA by changing your perception. According to David Hamilton as cited at this article, mainstream scientific research supports that your thoughts do affect your DNA. Your thoughts and emotions affect the structural composition of you; your perception switches your genes on or off:

“I have found around 500 scientific papers from mainstream academic journals which directly talk about the effect that thought, feeling and faith have on the body’s systems,” he says.

Recent research into spontaneous remissions from cancer found that a radical change of belief system seemed to be a common factor. While few would argue with the idea that a good attitude can speed the healing process, Hamilton believes emotions, such as happiness, can change DNA.

What is surprising is that a growing body of scientific thought appears to agree with him.

As an example, Hamilton quotes the work of Eric Kandel, joint winner of the 2000 Nobel prize for medicine, who carried out pioneering work into the way genes can be switched on or off by social influences.

Kandel’s conclusion is that many genetic differences between people are influenced by society and conditioning, rather than incorporated in the genetic makeup of the parents.

Hamilton says: “About 99.9 per cent of our genes are exactly the same. The differences between us are determined by whether our genes are switched on or off.

“There is a whole branch of medicine called psycho-neuro-immunology, which studies the effect of thoughts and emotions on our biochemistry. The biochemistry is intimately connected with the DNA, so if these biologichemical components are affected by thoughts and emotions then thoughts and emotions must also affect our DNA.”

*sings* Just Beeeeeeeeeee. Oh wait, it’s Just Breeaathe *stops singing*

Your natural state is health. Remove the toxins, remove the limiting thoughts and doubts, remove the extraneous words from this post and just… relax.

If you’re like me, you can feel the tightening in your chest when someone tells you to relax. In that case, don’t relax. What I do to relax my body is physically exercise it until I have no energy to resist the flow or whatever you want to call it. After a bike ride around the block and up a few hills, I have energy to focus on the essentials of what I’m doing right now, (crawling to my house), which is all I want and need to focus on anyway.

Incase you wanted another reminder…

A Harvard study in the seventies [likely Pert’s] discovered receptors on our immune cells for neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are chemicals produced by the brain that vary with our emotions. The results of this study point to the simple fact that your immune system is listening to your mental talk. How you think is how you feel. When someone tells you that you’re only as old as you feel, believe it.

You are the master of your immune system. There is no better cure for anything than a good attitude. [source]

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