Three hundred years ago, Isaac Newton proposed a radical new theory: the human body is a biological machine that responds solely to physical stimuli. Thus, the health of your physical machine is improved with nutrition, exercise and drugs.

Accordingly, the mechanistic Central Dogma of molecular biology (circa 1958) states that your DNA was preset before your birth, so your health has been almost entirely pre-programmed.

The theory was that genetic information flows in only one direction: from the DNA to the body. Essentially, your genes tell your body what to do, and your body complies.

However, quantum physics and recent discoveries in genetics have revealed a much different picture. Your body is more than just a physical machine.

And you're not merely a servant to dictatorial genes. You actually have a tremendous ability in every moment to affect which genetic traits are being expressed (or not), and the extent to which each one is expressed.

Numerous studies have revealed that individual genes are constantly being activated and deactivated in very specific ways, based on signals from the environment. The biological mechanism behind this activation will surprise you.

The secret to life isn't DNA, it's the cell membrane. No way, you say? Yes, way! Here's how it works.

Every cell membrane in your body contains receptors that pick up chemical signals from outside the cell. These signals tell the cell to divide, die, or let in various types of chemicals like neurotransmitters (dopamine, etc.), hormones, drugs, or toxins.

This signaling process has a major effect on how the DNA inside each cell is expressed on a moment-by-moment basis. So having a cancer gene doesn't mean you're destined to die of cancer. On the contrary, this piece of genetic information doesn't ever have to be expressed.

There's an emerging field of science called epigenetics: the study of changes in genetic expression due to factors other than changes in the DNA sequence. It's fascinating! This band of brilliant scientists has discovered multiple linkages between your DNA and the cell's environment, like toxic exposures, diet and exercise.

But the most compelling research has shown that the strongest external signals that your genes are affected by are your thoughts and emotions.

This is where I get real excited. This blog is dedicated to the exploration of how every thought you think triggers the release of hundreds of chemicals that either stress (cortisol) or uplift (endorphins) your body.

The point is, you aren't a victim of your heredity. Your genetic activity (the turning on and off of genes) is primarily determined by your day-to-day thoughts and feelings.

To be fair, I'm not knocking the value of diet and exercise. I acknowledge that they're integral components to a fulfilling life.

However, it's becoming more clear that veggies and crunches can't entirely offset the devastating physical damage wreaked by chronic negative thoughts like worry, fear and anxiety.

These recent findings add to the growing body of evidence that your perceptions control more of your biology than you're aware of. When you choose better thoughts, you'll fundamentally influence your genetic activity in a positive direction: toward a long, healthy, happy life.

So let's apply this new knowledge to advice you've been hearing your whole life: Eat healthy foods. Exercise. Think positive.

You know what to do, but are you doing it? Consistently?

Is your diet optimized? Do you exercise regularly? Have you been able to fully integrate every pattern of powerful thinking that you've read on my blog?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you might benefit from discovering your Inner Life Coach. Click here to find out how my book, Power For A Lifetime, can help.

Want help getting started? From a quick booster shot to a complete makeover, I can help you stay on the path of longevity and fulfillment. Click here to explore my GET MORE OUT OF LIFE Program.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Widener is a Certified Life Coach and author of Power For A Lifetime: Tools You Customize to Build Your Personal Power Every Day Of Your Life. You can sign up for Discovering Your Values, a 5-day e-course at no cost at http://www.myinnerfrontiers.com. Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then to create more balance and satisfaction in their lives. Empowerment Life Coaching is a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. Judy has coached more than 600 people over the past 13 years. Her website is http://www.myinnerfrontiers.com.