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

Erin Daly

Discussing the mind and the body as significantly inter-related aids in a better understanding of personal health and how to maintain that personal health. Without knowledge that everything you do has an effect, and each action is not individual and separate, makes you more cautious and more protective and makes you behave in a safer way. For example, knowing that losing sleep can cause anxiety and anxiety can cause depression and depression can cause stress makes it more obvious that you should get more sleep and put a stop to the sordid train of events before they even begin. If you thought that losing sleep was just losing sleep and nothing else, you'd lose sight of the fact that losing sleep can have greater negative effects that could spin out of control.
The choices you make have an impact that goes far beyond the one seemingly simple decision at the beginning. If you decide to drink, you can become addicted, and once you've acquired the addiction, you can suffer depression and stress over it. The choices you make have an impact that may not necessarily be thought of when going about everyday habits, but it becomes glaringly clear after it's occurred, and the consequences have settled.
By participating in the Women Living Well seminar, and going through the six weeks of discourse about women's health care and wellness issues, I learned a great deal about how to take care of myself. As a woman, in a stressful single-sex environment, I have to realize that everything I do can have an affect on my health. The topics we went over- migraines and stress, anxiety, exercise and mental health, depression, women and addiction, and sleep deprivation and performance- are all connected, and if you tamper with one, you set off a stream of events relating to the others. I honestly didn't know how much each one affected the other, and now that I know, I can use that information to be more aware of how I treat myself and the choices I make regarding my lifestyle. In the larger world, I have to pay attention to my interactions and decisions, and now that I've learned that within the community of Bryn Mawr, I can be better prepared to take care of myself within the larger world.

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