The nucleus which contains genes has traditionally been viewed as the control center—the brain of the cell. Nevertheless, research suggests that cells without the nucleus still continue with their functioning. Therefore, we no more need to believe that we are victims of our heredity, i.e. our genes or DNA. DNA is coated in a protective sleeve of protein; proteins are the building blocks of life and thought to be controlled by our DNA. However, scientists are now suggesting that it is the perception of environment by the receptor protein in the cell membrane that selects the genes which are specifically needed to react to the current situation. This means, the receptor protein selects the gene. The DNA is inactive if there is no perception. Furthermore, perception of the environment is not necessarily the reality of the environment. Therefore, it is not the environment but our perception of the environment which determines our biological reaction, and is also capable of rewriting our genes.
We generally perceive the environment either as positive or negative. When the perception is positive growth genes are activated. Negative perception activates protective genes, which then puts the body into a ‘fight or flight’ situation. In a ‘fight or flight’ situation the blood flow is directed away from the vital organs to limbs; giving less importance to the immune system. Our reflex functions are strengthened, whereas, mental and memory functions are hampered. Therefore, stress also makes us less intelligent and less clear-minded.
Your belief systems most often impact your perceptions and act as a filter between the real environment and your biology. Spiritual discourses largely shape our belief systems and therefore our perception. They are focused on developing an optimistic perspective to life which leads us to look at brighter side of situations and reduces stress, leading to a healthy lifestyle.