There is enough DNA in the average person’s body to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back 17 times. 🤯. HOWEVER, the genome alone is not the final determinant of our health. It is how the genes are utilized that provide health outcomes.
Enter epigenetics. “Broadly stated, the field of epigenetics attempts to provide an evidence-based understanding of how internally (eg, thought, perception, feeling, nutrition, movement, sleep, stress) and externally (eg, social relationship, shift-work, pollutions, light, stressor) induced lifestyle and environmental factors change our biochemical landscape.” (Lee, 2019)
When I started medical training, I learned:
MIND over MATTER & PUSH THROUGH
Push through needing to sleep
Push through needing to eat
Push through needing to pee
Push through needing to connect
Push through needing time off
Push through emotions
Push through needing exercise
Ignoring bodily urges sets the stage for considerable imbalance. And when I studied Ayurveda, I understood how.
I don’t know a clinician who has not had the sense that they might be dealing with some degree of burnout.
The Maslach Burnout Inventory gauges levels of burnout and defines it as a syndrome of: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment in one’s work.
Epigenetic activity changes with burnout.
I’ve started thinking about epigenetic measures that support healing because the institutional problems are shifting at a snail’s pace, if at all.
What if the path to healing is different from the way we arrived?
MATTER OVER MIND. And by this, I mean what if managing our “matter”, our body, would provide more bandwidth to support our mind and the intensity of all the experiences that cross a clinician’s path. Especially now.
Honoring our need to move, eat, sleep, connect and destress. Honoring our bodily urges. Gauging our sense of purpose. Looking closely at our daily lifestyle.
Using just Mindfulness for burnout, while practical, is like a swallow at the edge of a tornado. It can fly and perhaps avert disaster, but a massive force is just a wingspan away.
➡️ Share this with a friend who could benefit from a new view on burnout.