In today’s world where cosmetic surgery is no longer taboo, more than 26% of women are currently considering a cosmetic procedure, and nearly 73% have never had one in the past, it left us wondering is there’s a more magical way. We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t had some Botox or filler in our day, but as soon as we learned about Epigenetics, we knew we had to learn more about how we can change our physical bodies and even our DNA, with or thoughts.
We caught up with Dr. Tara Swart, Oxford University trained MD; PhD in Neuroscience; Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan; and Author of UK bestseller and US award winning book ’The Source’, to teach us the basics of Epigenetics so we can leverage science and the power of our brains to transform our physical state, without spending hours in a stuffy gym, going under the knife, or spending thousands of dollars.
Here's what she had to share with us on the foundations of Epigenetics:
Q: What is epigenetics?
Dr. Tara Swart: The influence of the environment (lifestyle factors, stresses, traumas etc) on the expression of your genes; as well as the fact that this can be transmitted across several generations.
Q: What different methods or rituals can we use to re-program our thoughts to align with our physical intentions?
Dr. Tara Swart: We can use meditation, journaling, affirmations, gratitude practices, and sustainable behaviour change practices underpinned by neuroplasticity, which is the incredible ability of the brain to grow and change at any age.
Q: How does this work from a science perspective?
Dr. Tara Swart: It is a four step process as outlined in my best-selling book ’The Source': raise awareness of what we need to change; focus attention on opportunities to do so; deliberately practice new, desired behaviours; and hold ourselves accountable to actually change. This process builds and/or strengthens new pathways in the brain to over-write old ways of being.
Q: What can we do in the moment to get our thoughts back on track when our negative thoughts are taking over?
Dr. Tara Swart: Replace every negative thought pattern with a positive affirmation that addresses the sub-conscious belief that underlies that through process. This is an ancient Buddhist philosophy backed up by cutting edge modern science.
Q: If someone wanted to manifest weight loss, for example, what’s the first thing they should do?
Dr. Tara Swart: Visualise themselves at their ideal weight; notice what it is that is good about being in that state; integrate all their senses into this - what it looks like, feels like etc; and then meditate on this un til they believe that this visualisation will become true.
Q: Any tips for starting your day in higher consciousness thinking for optimal connection to our intentions?
Dr. Tara Swart: Start the day with a positive affirmation or mantra. Or at least openly monitor your thoughts and notice the nature of them without becoming emotionally attached to the thoughts.
Q: Anything else you want to share?
Dr. Tara Swart: I have a neuroplasticity-based platform to help people attain their fullest potential: SparkUp.io
Dr. Tara Swart is an Oxford University trained MD; PhD in Neuroscience; Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan; and Author of UK bestseller and US award winning book ’The Source’ which has translations in 36 languages. Tara is Trustee at The Lady Garden Foundation for gynaecological cancers. Her research focuses on the intersection between science and spirituality.