How Meditation Can Alter Your DNA?
Your brain needs some time off from the running around it does and that break can be given by regular meditation. Meditation makes you feel good and is great for good health. Unfortunately our lifestyle does not allow us to take some time off. However, if you are told that meditation can change your DNA for the good, will you be motivated to meditate regularly? Yes, meditation can alter your DNA, read on to find more!
All of us are born with certain genes that our parents pass on to us. And most often you can simply tell what you got from your mom and what you got from your dad by looking at yourself in the mirror. You might look like mom but resemble your dad when you smile. The colour of your eyes may be like one of your parent. However, every gene you have is not expressed by the body. There are certain genes that can just turn off and on like a switch. A multitude of factors determine when that switch will turn on or turn off.
The study of the external factors that influence gene expression is called Epigenetics. It studies how our DNA shows up in the body. Scientists are still studying about all the factors that affect DNA. They say the DNA gets affected by exposure to toxins, diet, exercises and last but not the least, meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is an easy technique of bringing awareness to present without any judgment. Often breath or mantra is used as a focal point.
In a study conducted it was confirmed that there were genetic changes in the individuals after a day of mindfulness meditation. The individuals who meditated showed a lot of genetic changes after 8 hours that included reduced levels of inflammatory genes, which indicated that they had an improved ability to overcome physical stress.
The inflammatory genes that got turned off as a result of mindfulness meditation in those people are the same genes that are targeted with analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs. The researchers found that the meditators had more rapidly declining cortisol levels after a mentally stressful stimulation.
In another study the focus was on breast cancer patients who happened to practice mindfulness meditation. The patients were said to have longer strands of DNA that happen to protect chromosomes. These structures are called telomeres and are known to normally shorten with age thereby leaving the chromosomes vulnerable to damage. Telomores are shorter in people who have chronic disease and high amount of stress and longer in young and healthy individuals. So, having long telomeres is something positive and the best part is that researchers have been able to correlate it with meditation.
Does all this mean that with meditation you can ward of a disease even if you carry the gene for it? Well, the answer to that is no! However, after knowing that meditation is very much on the list of epigenetic factors that can we can control, it makes a huge difference.
If on some busy day you feel that you don’t have enough time for meditation, think of your telomeres!
Hope you liked this post on ‘How Meditation Can Alter Your DNA’
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