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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
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Conscious mind, happy body

Alice Gugelmann

My experience in the Women Living Well Seminar this semester has effectively demonstrated the connection between my body and mind during my three years at Bryn Mawr College. As a young, still maturing women going through a vigorous curriculum and a new social atmosphere, my mental and physical health has fluctuated between highs and lows. Thrust into a social atmosphere where one is constantly demanded to develop, reevaluate and strengthen ones views on everything from the existentialist philosophy of Nietzche to the nutritious manna provided by Bryn Mawr Dining Services, I have often taxed my mind and exposed it to the negative, physically straining effects of anxiety and depression, usually self-imposed in reaction to the ugly interloper of peer pressure. The resulting malaise was often manifested physically as headaches and lack of motivation to exercise, which profoundly affected my ability to sleep soundly and increased my levels of stress, anxiety and depression, sending my being in a downward spiral.
With the information that I was exposed to and assimilated in the seminar, I can now actively identify and correct the causes of my low moods and antipathy when they happen to occur. Similarly, when I am riding on a tide of soma-like serotonin and dopamine, I can prolong my natural high with the same methods. These simple steps can mean a world of difference to my well being and in my success as a woman. My mind and body can and will benefit from my appreciation of sleep, implementation of exercise and increased level of mental awareness and control.

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