04/24/2015 06:27 pm ET Updated Apr 27, 2015

How The Lives Of Your Grandparents Could Affect How You React To Stress

If you won't take measures to reduce your stress levels for yourself, at least do it for your grandchildren.

New research suggests that you can actually tell a lot about your personal response to stress by how your grandparents did around the time of your parents' conception. Tara Swart, Ph.D., the CEO of The Unlimited Mind, joined HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd to explain how this stress transfer works and what its implications may be for future generations.

"The data that we have is only about three generations long now, so let's talk about your grandmother," said Swart. "She was born with set of genes, and the things that she experienced in her life could actually switch on or off which genes actually lead to things like whether you get high blood pressure or diabetes or heart disease or certain mental illnesses... So let's say that you're grandmother was living during a famine just before she got pregnant with your mother, that would mean that her response to starvation could either mean that she's somebody that wants to eat more or do by eating less. Depending on how she responded to that situation, your threshold for stress, because of the genes that got switched on and off at the time, could mean that you're either more vulnerable to stress or actually that you have an increased resilience to stress."

Watch the full HuffPost Live clip above to hear more from the conversation.



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