well of course it did

From this article in Time Magazine:

Stress puts into motion a biological cascade involving hormones, glands and neural circuits, all activating one another in a complex feedback loop. When you are stuck in traffic or overwhelmed at work or worn down by the kids, the hypothalamus–a structure buried deep in the midbrain–tells your adrenal gland to pump out a supply of the stress hormone cortisol.

Got that? Okay, so:

Coan and his colleagues conducted an experiment in which married women underwent brain scans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During the scans, the women were told they were going to receive a painful electric shock. The researchers then watched to see how the subjects’ brains responded to the threat and found that among happily married women, hypothalamus activity declined sharply if husbands held their wives’ hands during the experiment.

… and they were less stressed out, knowing that however much the electric shock hurt, they’d at least get to share the pain with their husbands. This makes perfect sense to me, because marriage is a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.

Song du jour of the day: Lovers Town Revisited, by Billy Bragg


2 responses to “well of course it did

  • amy


    I was just remembering the other day, when I had to have a kind of scary yet routine outpatient procedure and I was completely wound up and nervous–I get that way–they made me wait by myself for the doctor while my husband was in the waiting room. I asked if he could come in. No. Finally as I continued to be completely wound up, a nurse asked if there wasn’t anything she could do to help calm me down.

    “You could let me husband come in here and wait with me, DAMMIT!”

    They let him in. He held my hand. I calmed down.


  • Sandy (Momisodes)

    Wow! that is quite interesting. It’s always nice to have someone you love there to hold your hand through tough times, but something about your spouse being there to share it makes it more manageable đŸ™‚

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