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

Elizabeth Marcus

Although the mind and the body are regarded as two separate entities, they are very closely related. The functioning and state of one greatly affects the other. If one does something to one's body, the mind is very likely to feel the consequences whether they are good or bad.

Two examples of this connection are sleep and exercise which then also connect to each other. When a person lacks sleep, her body not only functions slower, but so does the mind. It becomes harder to think properly and to be able to carry out more complicated tasks. Dr. Pien mentioned that sleep deprivation has the same effect as alcohol on the body. Therefore, if one does not sleep enough, the consequences can me just as dangerous as if someone is drunk. I found this image very powerful since the dangers of drinking are widely publicized. This fact makes many of the signs that one sees in someone who is sleep deprived very definite and all the more real. Exercise also exhibits a great effect on not only the body, but also the mind. First, one will not feel as inclined to exercise if one is lacking sleep. From there, exercise helps not only the body function better, but also the mind. The effects of exercise are often publicized. However, there are other benefits. One's mood tends to improve with exercise as well as improving the condition of one's body. As one exercises more, the tendency is to feel better physically as well as mentally. Also, exercise can have a positive effect on one's sleep in that one tends to sleep better after one has put an exercising regiment in place.

By looking at only the dealings with the mind and body concerning sleep deprivation and exercise, it is easy to see the connection they have. When one does not have the available resources, like sleep, it is much more difficult to keep the two parts working well together. Something one does to their body affects the mind and vice-versa. These are not isolated incidents. By understanding this, the necessity for exercise, sleep, and proper eating become all the more obvious.

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