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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
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Women Living Well: Mind and Body Connection

Daniella Forstater

Daniella Forstater
P. E. Seminar

Women Living Well: Mind and Body Connection

I have always believed that the mind-body connection is an important one. It can be seen in the miraculous recoveries that patients have made from illnesses simply by having a good attitude. I have learned especially through these lectures, though, that things besides life-threatening illnesses are a part of this connection as well-things as minor as a good night sleep or getting a sufficient amount of exercise each day.

This seminar has motivated me to try and improve my lifestyle habits, not just because staying healthy will help me physically, but because it will also probably improve my mental and emotional health. I can certainly see the benefit of sleeping well. I know that when I sleep for very few hours I have trouble concentrating, I move especially slowly, and I just feel crumby in general. This in mind, the converse is definitely true as well-more sleep can improve mood. In terms of exercise, its effect on mood is evident from what we know about endorphins and the runner's high. It seems that even a minimal amount of exercise would do the same thing to a smaller scale.

As much as I would like to incorporate healthy habits into my life, though, and as much as I say I will try and do it, I must admit it is very doubtful this will actually happen. I feel at this point that my lifestyle is essentially consumed by being a student at Bryn Mawr. It is very difficult to find time to do things that are good for me. Even when I am not busy with schoolwork, I usually feel there is something I could be getting done and therefore don't allow myself the time, for example, to go out and take a walk. Perhaps I might have more success getting into better habits once I finish school-but then again, I might end up making the same excuses once I get a job. The importance of healthy lifestyle habits has been stressed by this class, though, and so I think I am really going to make an effort to do a better job this summer. I hope that if I can get into some sort of routine while I have more free time, I will have an easier time incorporating the habits into my life during the school year when their effects are probably the most needed.

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