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News in the APS Observer: Nathan on "How Mindfulness Works," David on "Happy Marriages and Healthy Bodies"

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Originally posted on January 20, 2015.

In the January Observer (here), Nathan digests—and suggests how to teach—David Creswell and Emily Lindsay’s explanations of how mindfulness improves health.  Mindfulness serves to recruit brain regions important for stress control and it inhibits the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes from going into overdrive.

David (here) notes that marriage predicts happiness.  Does it also predict physical health?  A massive meta-analysis by Theodore Robles and his colleagues indicates that, in Robles’ words, the marriage-health relationship “is similar to that of associations between health behaviors (diet, physical activity) and health outcomes.” But why?  Does marriage influence health or are healthy people more likely to marry?  Longitudinal studies suggest that marriage influences future health—for reasons that Robles explains and that class discussion might identify.

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About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).