This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

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

The Mind Body Connection


The notion of separating the physical and mental aspects of the human experience has never made sense to me, seeing as to how all of these systems are interdependent. The organs responsible for our mental capacities are also physically existent, thus making them susceptible to the same weaknesses as any other physical entity of the body. Therefore, embracing a holistic approach to human health seems like the only truly
effective method.

Looking back on the list of topics discussed throughout the forum, there were automatically certain issues I could identify, which I knew had some sort of experience with. These definitely included stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and other rather frequent "side effects" to being a college student. The advice and information offered by the speakers were things that I had heard before, perhaps from a TV show or read in a
magazine article. But, of course, it never hurts to be reminded of them. With an issue such as sleep deprivation, for example, everyone knows that pulling an all nighter won't put you in the best mood the next day, but sometimes they have to happen so that the work gets done. However, making a habit of it ultimately works against the student. When considering the level of quality-work one can produce on a good night's sleep, staying up night after night to simply get assignments finished doesn't seem so appealing. Therefore, for me, it's a priority I need to remind myself of more often.

Regarding exercise, I guess I was autmoatically in this mindset where I had to allocate a specific time, date, and location for physical activity that I could deem worthy of being called "exercise." Since the session on that topic however, I have begun to incorporate exercise into my schedule; I take the long way to a building on campus, I'll walk to Suburban Square if it's a nice day, etc. Any way in which a person can maintain his/her health is beneficial, but it feels especially nice when there's a method of optimizing that effort to work in with an already existent and hectic schedule.

With other topics that I have not had as much experience with, such as migraines/headaches and depression, I feel that having some sort of background on their implications is helpful for facing times when I may actually have these experiences. For example, not being a frequent sufferer from headaches, I would most likely end up eating/drinking things that would make my condition worse because of my lack of experience with them/knowing what works. Also, if nothing else, perhaps I can offer advice to friends who do deal with these conditions.

In an environment such as Bryn Mawr, when more or less "common sense" ideas about health and well-being may sometimes be forgotten in the chaos of deadlines, presentations, and finals, remembering the mind-body connection serves as a sort of reality check. Much of a student's performance here reflects her mental capacities, but the quality of these mental capacities is very much dependent on her physical state of being. To sacrifice one for the other wouldn't be conducive to a successful college career. Thus, trying to find a balance of interests/priorities is the best way of establishing and maintaining a healthy level of operation within the mind-body connection.

| Forums | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994-2007 - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:18 CDT