Friday, August 9, 2013

How Genes and Epigenetics Influence Your Behavior

How Genes and Epigenetics Influence Your Behavior

“It is all in the genes!”
A very common and clichéd statement we have heard a bit too often! Be it [from] the medical community trying to ascertain the cause of mystifying disease or your doctor trying to warn you of an impending illness citing the example of your elders.
So, what is the jargon all about? That our genes and heredity influences how we look, we already know, but do they also have any bearing on how we behave? More importantly, do our genes also influence our sense of consciousness and self-awareness? In other words, it might be an interesting revelation to look into how far our genetic mapping is responsible for the kind of people we become.
In fact, there is sufficient research to indicate that more than 50 percent of the differences in the level of extroversion in people can be attributed to genetic differences. Meanwhile, the rest - 40 to 50 percent of difference is owing to the environmental factors, which we can also label as the mechanics of epigenetics[1].
Read on as we talk about your genetic mapping and how it influences the kind if individual you develop into. We will also shed some light on the science of epigenetics and how it influences the way we evolve over the years.
Key terms to know:
When it comes to the study of how your individual personality traits develop, there are generally two aspects to the debate, including genetic factors and epigenetics. Let us study each one before going any further.
Your Genes – This is precisely the “Nature” part of your personality. You are born with a certain set of genes and that defines the traits you get as a part of your heredity.
Epigenetics – This is the “Nurture” part of your personality. Referred to as the second level of genetics, this science explains how your genetic structure continuously changes and evolves owing to the influence of your environment and lifestyle. [The epigenome is actually a chemical that turns on and off our genes.]
Now that we have explained the concepts, let us move on to understand how YOU can influence your genes for a better personality and a happier [and healthier] life.
5 steps to influence your genes:
With some learning, consistent effort and a strong will power, you can modify your environment as well as your lifestyle to bring out your best. In other words, you can choose how the mechanism of epigenetics influences your original genetic structure.   
Read on to know more about the five important ways in which you can influence the effect your environment will have on your genes.
1. Eat healthy and right
What we eat and drink has a direct impact on our genetic make-up. When we eat the right type of nutrients in an optimum quality, over the years our body system develops the proper balance. On the contrary, unhealthy eating habits alter your body’s mechanism and metabolism. Eventually, such traits are passed on to the next generations in the line of heredity.
2. Exercise well
Another dictate of healthy living, it keeps your body in the right shape. Maintained over long periods, it then has an effect on your overall stamina and fitness levels, which is then passed on to the next generations.
3. Live in a healthy environment
Even if you maintain a healthy lifestyle, an adverse environment can have a different impact on you. The best example to demonstrate this effect is that of passive smoking. Do whatever it takes to ensure that your surroundings are equally healthy and clean. This way, you will be able to avoid any negative influence that otherwise might be transferred down the heredity line. 
4. Be under good influence
Make sure that you surround yourself with people of good mettle. Keep company with learned and aware people who will have a positive influence on you. The effect of negative company eventually seeps in and affects the kind of person you become.
5. Be in touch with your inner consciousness
Listen to your heart, mind and body. Learn to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings. Keep a sense of what your body finds repulsive and make efforts to change the same for your betterment.
Such modifications and efforts made in the right direction go a long way in shaping the influence on your genes. Apart from helping you to pass on a healthy life to your progeny, it will also help you to live a fuller, healthier and a more successful life.

1 comment:

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