The new field of Epigenetics is proving that our DNA is not a fixed plan that is going to plan out, but rather a set of options that will unfold according to the environment that surrounds us. We know that our thoughts, our feelings, the toxins we are exposed to, the foods we eat, and much more determine what happens with the genes we hold. Because a person has a particular gene does not mean it will express itself. The conditions have to be there for it to turn on. Change the conditions and prevent the gene from expressing itself. The Best Brain Possible lays it all out for us.
Every minute of every day, your body is physically reacting, literally changing, in response to the thoughts that run through your mind.
It’s been proven over and over again that just thinking about something causes your brain to release neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that allow it to communicate with parts of itself and your nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of your body’s functions, from hormones to digestion and from feeling happy or sad to stressed.
Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve vision, fitness, and strength. The placebo effect, as observed with fake operations and sham drugs for example, works because of the power of thought. Expectancies and learned associations have been shown to change brain chemistry and circuitry which results in real physiological and cognitive outcomes, such as less fatigue, lower immune system reaction, elevated hormone levels, and reduced anxiety.
In The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World, Lynne McTaggart writes:
A sizable body of research exploring the nature of consciousness, carried on for more than thirty years in prestigious scientific institutions around the world, shows that thoughts are capable of affecting everything from the simplest machines to the most complex living beings. This evidence suggests that human thoughts and intentions are an actual physical “something” with astonishing power to change our world. Every thought we have is tangible energy with the power to transform. A thought is not only a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things. (Read more)
Busy regions of the brain start making new connections with each other, and existing synapses, the connections between neurons, that experience more activity get stronger, increasingly sensitive, and start building more receptors. New synapses are also formed.
One example of this is the well-known London cab driver studies which showed that the longer someone had been driving a taxi, the larger their hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in visual-spatial memory. Their brains literally expanded to accommodate the cognitive demands of navigating London’s tangle of streets. Research has also proven the numerous benefits of meditation for your brain and shown that meditation produces measurable results, from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions.
Your thoughts can literally sculpt your brain. They turn genes off and on.
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