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Did you Inherit your Stress?

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Did you Inherit your Stress?


Is stress hereditary? Are we more prone to it than others because of our up-bringing? It turns out that more nurturing behavior from our parents may affect our epi-genetic code and can make us more or less prone to manage and handle stress. So did we inherit our stress? Are we setting ourselves up to prolong it? …and more importantly, are we passing it on to our younger family members?

I’ve recently become a big fan of playing Ted talks on my way to work. I found this video to be fascinating because it clearly explain what stress is and how, exactly, it affects our brain, ability to concentrate, learn and remember (…or not). Yet, as I watched further, what struck a chord was the lab test that argues how infants of more nurturing mothers may be better able to deal and manage stress. Wow! So…we might have a direct impact on our epi-genetic code through our behavior towards our children (or the children of others)?! The saving grace is that we are just as capable of exacerbating this behavior as we are of reversing it for our own benefit and and that of our future generations, because our brains and our bodies are that powerful.  How exciting is it to know we have the key to alter the less desirable things we have inherited and grab onto and promote the things we know to be better…all through nurturing behavior. The key here is nurturing. Exercise and meditation are highlighted in this video, and I would like to add massage therapy to it too. In my short career as a licensed massage therapist, I have lost count of the number of people I have treated who have shared their deep gratitude for having the space to feel nurturing touch. While I never doubted the research that proves massage to reduce levels of cortisol (stress hormone) by 31% and promote dopamine (happy hormone) by 28%, now I am more convinced than ever. Touch, the most basic form of human connection, is where the key to managing stress lies. Enjoy the video and feel free to share your comments!


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