I think it may be obvious how better expectations lead to better grades. Since I have a positive and high expectations about my ability to earn grades, I work up to that expectation. Those who have low expectations seems to fulfill them also. But faith and a positive mind/body result is more than positive thinking. (Deepak Chopra just said on television that positive thinkers are annoying! He prefers meditation, which seems to alternately define in that conversation as 1) doing nothing an 2) inquiry about who one is, where one comes from or what one wants.) I am not surprised about the factual medical findings. I think a better explanation is one that came much before: faith, hope, and love. Positive expectations that are based on promises in the Bible, based on God’s grace have a stronger reality as well as more existential power.
A story where God is love and God’s emissary gave himself, his very human self *for others* is then the most powerful claim on being the most appropriate path.
This matches with the observation that those who do charitable acts reap good health rewards. Science finds this. I am not surprised.
How do you communicate the value of positive expectations, love, and charity to your children and students? Is faith merely doctrine? Merely boundaries on speaking? Is charity only duty or only magic?
Is religion only moral rules? Often what we teach our children is actually what we really believe.