Our Backfit team recently returned from a chiropractic conference in Seattle. 2 full days, 22 speakers, and hundreds of like-minded people, all passionate about serving our patients and communities at a higher level. The team emerged from that experience fired up and inspired!
Think back to the last time you had an elevating experience. Were you attending a seminar or spending a weekend surrounded with good friends who fill your soul? Think about how energized and alive you felt. Would you like to feel that way more often? What if I told you that this kind of energy is vital to your health and wellbeing?
There is an emerging science called epigenetics that demonstrates the effect that our environment has on the expression of our genes, and ultimately the state of our health. Epigenetics shows that genes can be up-regulated or down-regulated (turned “on” or “off”) based on our environment. (Stay with me here!)
Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of “The Biology of Belief”, describes our DNA as a blueprint, and explains that there are over 30,000 different variations that can emerge from that blueprint depending on the demands of our environment. And more powerful than the environment itself, is our perception of it. It’s the thoughts, emotions and energy that we manifest in our bodies that create our reality.
I know for some people this may seem an abstract concept to grasp, but the implications of it are incredibly important to your health!
The popular professional networking site, LinkedIn, recently posted a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014. Deepak Chopra, MD, who is at the forefront of the health and wellness revolution, selected epigenetics. In his article, “You Will Transform Your Own Biology”, Dr. Chopra writes “The mind and emotions directly affect gene activity, and since the mind is the source of a person’s lifestyle and behavior, it directs one’s biological transformations.”
Consider this example from Dr. James Chestnut’s book “The Innate State of Mind and Emotional Hygiene”:
“At Harvard University, women in mind-body support groups for infertility conceive 44% of the time (as opposed to the expected 8-10% rate) and 80% of men with hypertension in mind-body groups are able to decrease their medication, while 16% are able to stop their antihypertensive medication entirely.”
So how does this actually impact you and your health? Well – it boils down to this. Our health is really a genetic expression of our lifestyle choices. It’s our lifestyle choices that create our environment. Our commitment to good nutrition, exercise and rest are the things that commonly come to mind when we think about a healthy lifestyle. What I want to express here is this: Your emotional energy plays a vital role in your health. If you’re really serious about optimizing your health, then just like eating well and exercising, elevating your emotional energy must become a daily practice.
We have to be very intentional about our energy and the energy of those we surround ourselves with.
At Backfit, we have this quote posted in our staff area as a valuable reminder:
But how do we create this kind of elevated energy in our daily lives? Just like all of you, I have days when I’m feeling stuck, stressed or overwhelmed. So here is the “go to” practice in our family!
4 keys to elevating your emotional health:
- Practice gratitude. Whether you keep a gratitude journal (Yes, even our kids have one!) or ground yourself in yoga or meditation, this is a powerful way to trigger almost immediate changes in your physiology. True story.
- Connect with nature. Walk through the forest or sit and watch the waves. Being in nature reduces anger, fear and stress and increases positive emotions.
- Get physical. Jump on your bike or go for a run. We all know the positive impact that those amazing endorphins have.
- Make a contribution. Coach a team, host a fundraiser, or practice random acts of kindness. Helping others elevates your happiness. It’s as simple as that.
These are ideal ways to create an energy shift when you need it. But here’s my challenge to you: Practice at least two of these on a daily basis. Remember, what you do on a daily basis has far more impact on your life than what you do once in a while.
In the words of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: “We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who we are and how we want to show up.”
What choice will you make today?
Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit Team
P.S. If you are interested in exploring this topic further, here are some fabulous links: