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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
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Seminar in Review

Diana Femina

If there's one thing I've learned from this seminar it's that I know my body better than I thought I did. While going through the different topics, I realized that I knew most of the material, I just couldn't explain it. To me, though, this is all tacit knowledge.

I know when I'm getting a headache. I can feel it coming on, and I usually know why I'm getting one. Usually, I have stress and strain headaches, and they're not usually bad. I also know when I need to close my eyes to relieve it or when I have to get a drink of water, run around, etc. I also know that certain things we learned in the seminar that caused headaches, such as chocolate, do not give me headaches. Just looking at the list, I knew this. But I don't know how I know this.

With anxiety, I know how I deal with it. In fact, I know that I need it. I wouldn't have motivation to get things done, such as the papers I need to finish before the end of next week. Anxiety really does help me, it gives me a rush, and while it might frustrate me, I know it's essential to me living well. There are times, however, when I feel anxious in a bad way. These times are different than the other periods of anxiety I have. It might be because there's nothing for me to feel anxious about, or the anxiety is hindering me instead of helping me. Once the anxiety gets uncomfortable, I know something's wrong. It isn't natural for me to be like that, and I know during those times that I have to figure out what is wrong. It's like an internal button that clicks on.

I've known forever that I feel better after I take a walk. I feel more energetic, rested, and happier with myself. I enjoy doing physical activities, but I never knew about the other benefits. Since that seminar I've been trying to walk more, walking to Haverford instead of taking the Blue Bus (which is sometimes necessary due to the fact that I miss the bus more than I should).

Depression is a topic that I know has affected me greatly. Due to certain circumstances, I have seen the horrors of depression and what it can do to someone's family and friends. I've even done research on the topic, to better acquaint myself with the problem so I can have a better understanding of it. It is debilitating, and nothing anyone should be ashamed of. Unfortunutly, in today's society, people with depression are looked down upon, and no matter how much you tell a person that they shouldn't be ashamed of their moods it is still a fact that it is not a favorable thing to admit. That in itself adds to the depression. I believe that this seminar touched on the main topic that keeps women from living well. Problems with headaches, anxiety, exercise, sleep, and addiction can all stem from depression more so, I believe, than depression can spring for them. This is because any depression coming from these things, a lack of them or too much, will be alleviated after you get more sleep or exercise. Depression in itself is something I don't believe you ever truly get over.

Addiction is an interesting topic. I believe, though, that it is an individual topic, because addiction depends on the individual. It can definitely get in the way of a woman's life, and I thankfully have never had to deal with it.

Ah, I miss it. This week has been the subject of sleep deprivation. Two hours of sleep one night, three of another, and I'm still going. I will, however, crash. I know this, I can only hope it waits until I'm home to hit me. In college, sleep deprivation is a way of life. There's no getting around it. And if one more professor tells me to get more sleep, I'm going to tell them to stop giving me work. As insolent as that might be, right now I'm irritable enough to say it. Anyway, isn't it insolent of them to tell me to get sleep, and then in the same breath tell me I have three projects due the next day...SURPRISE!!! Because, as the world knows, I just love doing tedious work when I could be resting! (like I said, sleep deprivation...remember, I'm writing this paper as if I'm drunk right now. Please take that into consideration).

In conclusion, I would just like to say that this seminar taught me many things. Most of them, however, are useless, and this is a good thing. They are useless because I know they won't work for me, it's just the way I am. I know my body, and before this seminar I didn't know how well I understood it. I can now trust myself more, which I think is a great step in the direction to living well.

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