Do you want to be rich in vitality, rich in years lived and rich in contributions made?  Focus on epigenetics and be public with your self-care. Here’s how.

The first step is to recognize if you’ve been feeling any sort of discontent—physically, emotionally or spiritually. We often internalize feelings of discontent, but keeping them in doesn’t serve your wellbeing or inner peace. One of the greatest things we can do is to focus on something called epigenetics, which literally means “living above your genes.”

The idea behind epigenetics is that environmental factors, such as diet, lifestyle choices and behaviors, even stress, can change the health of not only the people who are exposed to them, but also the health of their descendants.

We all come into the world with a DNA blueprint from our parents. Mine is heart disease, cancer, alcoholism and depression. But what I love about epigenetics is that I have the choice to either build my life on this blueprint or live above it. I choose the latter, because how you eat, how you think, and who and what you surround yourself with all offer an epigenetic opportunity. We all have the ability to positively affect our genes —and, in turn, pass these better genes off to our kids, grandkids and beyond.

The next thing to do is ask yourself what does your highest expression of living look like? Evaluate your inner and outer environments. What did you come into the world with via your DNA, and what would you like to build around it? Good friends, loving relationships, healthy food, going outdoors, daily exercise, interesting reading, volunteering: All of these factors tremendously impact your epigenetics.

So don’t be afraid to express all of this in the world. When you make your positive self-care public, you enrich both yourself and those around you. When we augment positivity and create a life that we love versus wallowing in discontent, it’s wonderfully contagious.

james rouseDr. James Rouse has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is an inspirational speaker, personal coach, author and the cofounder of Skoop, a line of powdered superfoods.