Post : Are genes linked to stress ? 4 points of clarifications.

Some 50 – 80 years ago, people rarely used the word “stress”. Maybe the word was just another word in the dictionary whose meaning had the least relevance in their lives. But, today, it is the most common widely used word in every individual’s life.

Today, everywhere, you go, stress can follow you. At home, at the office, stuck in traffic, getting late and the list goes on. Therefore, the most common causes of stress in people’s lives nowadays.

Relationship stress.
Financial stress.
Workplace stress.
Health concerns.
Daily chorus stress.

4 points of clarifications as to how genes are linked to stress.

1.Genetical predisposition: Often seen, some people tend to battle more with day to day stress than some other people. So, how are genes related to our body’s psychological response? Genes produce proteins which influences our body’s reactions to different psychological responses and, stress being one of them. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), are tiny differences in the genes which affect the release of hormones and proteins in the body and determine the psychological responses. This is a reason, different people react differently and have a different level of stress for the same particular situation.

2.COMT gene: Catechol – Omethyltransferase is an enzyme which causes the body to break the stress hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Epinephrine and epinephrine are hormones produces during extreme stress, under fight and flight response whereas dopamine is feel good (reward) hormone which also function as a neurotransmitter. So depending on which version of the COMT gene you have, your genotype can be a :

Warrior gene: Those who perform well under stress or under pressure.

Strategic gene: Those whose performance suffers during stress but performs well in calm situations.
Combination of both: Those who are quite in between.

3.BDNF ( brain-derived neurotrophic factor): BDNF normally function as protecting and creating new neurons, strengthening the signals between neurons. As far as stress is concerned, this protein acts as a resilience factor. This helps you to tolerate and resist the stressful situation and can still act and make you perform without affecting your health and wellbeing.

4.Managing stress level: This is the most important part of this topic. So how do we manage stress level? Depending upon, genetic predisposition, you may be the either high or low level of stress resilience. So, easy steps to handle routine stress are:
Breathing/relaxation: Deep breathing is a simple step that can be effective to control stress. Because, when you breathe deep, this makes the brain to relax and calm down.
Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, your body enters the feel-good phase. 2 types of endorphins: Anandamide and serotonin.

Exercise increases your level of anandamide which helps the body to produce BDNF which in turn helps to regulate stress.
Serotonin is a feel-good chemical which makes you happy, motivated which can be boosted by exercise, walking, running or any physical activity which you enjoy doing. When serotonin is level is maintained, stress is less likely to occur.

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13 thoughts on “Post : Are genes linked to stress ? 4 points of clarifications.

  1. Exercise! Physical exercise is the best thing to keep my stress and anxiety in check. I should do more breathing/relaxation exercises too… thanks for the reminder

  2. I think stress in basically environmental. How you deal with stress has to do with your examples and how they thought you go deal with stress. Mom, dad, all your seniors. Once I started looking at the people in my life and adjusting my strategies to stress, a lot changed

    1. Yes, that’s a wise outlook. We learn everything from the people and the environment around us. So, if we understand the loopholes, we can be better equipped to deal with stress.
      Thank you so much for the like and the feedback.

    1. We learn so much from our surrounding. For instance, when it comes to nutrition, forget my medical background, I have learnt so much from childhood about eating healthier from my parents and elders around. Since I am an Indian, I have known the importance of Yoga and meditation from an early age.

      1. I can concur being Caribbean African and eating a healthy diet until coming to America and adapting an unhealthy dietary lifestyle and having to unlearn that reestablishing my Caribbean dietary lifestyle to save my own life

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