New in the APS Observer: Nathan on “How Mindfulness Works,” David on “Happy Marriages and Healthy Bodies”

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.