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PositiveTip for

Genetic Symphony

Listening to classical music regularly may give you a genetic advantage.

Finnish researchers examined the effects of classical music on the brain at the molecular level on both musically experienced (48) and inexperienced (15) people. Genetic activity increased for the "feel-good" hormone dopamine, as well as genes involved in memory, learning and synaptic activity. Genes associated with neuro-degeneration were less active. Only musically experienced participants exhibited these effects. 

PositiveTip: Get "musically experienced" and regularly enjoy classical music for both genetic and mental health benefits. You can start with the Mozart concerto used by researchers. 

PositiveTip for

How Happiness Can Help... or Hurt Your Health.

Pleasure or purpose: your focus may affect your immune system.

A recent study compared the body’s biological response to two types of happiness: pleasure-seeking (eg. enjoying a meal) or purpose-seeking (eg. community connection through service). While both types can create a general sense of well-being, the cellular response can be quite different. High pleasure-seeking happiness was associated with genetic expressions that would weaken the immune system. However, high purpose-focused happiness appeared to have the opposite effect, improving the genetic expressions that support the immune system.  

Positive Tip: Choose to focus on happiness based in purpose, meaning and connectedness with others. Your mind and body will thank you!

Nature or Nurture?

Which has the greatest effect when it comes to the cause of disease? Although only a few statistical studies try to answer this question, one recent study suggests that about 5% of obesity is caused by genetics. That means 95% of the overweight problem is a result of environment – cultural patterns, economic constraints, formal and informal educational levels, health intervention awareness, parental modeling, social pressures, advertising and personal choices.

This is an amazing statistic - especially when so many overweight people tend to say: “It runs in my family.” So we have to ask: “What runs in the family? Genetics or habit patterns? Are these problems from the gene pool or from cultivated cultural/familial choice patterns?”

Clearly, most of the problem lies with the habits we have learned, not the DNA we were born with.