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

It's not a coincidence that mind and body are thought of as separate entities. The information that we get about each one is never mentions the other. Research or announcements about medical advances are always focused on improving one of these aspects, not the other, and I think approaches to treatment of ailments are usually in one direction over the other as well. I would like to say that attending the series has helped to de-polarize mind and body in my mind, but I am not sure I honestly can. The division is pretty well entrenched in my thinking.

That's not to say that the lectures haven't been helpful, of course. There was a balance between those people who showed how the mental affects the physical (anxiety, depression) and those who showed how the physical affects the mental (exercise, sleep deprivation).

I really feel that any application of the lessons learned through the lectures is a very individual thing. I also think that if you do bring those lessons to bear on your life, that won't necessarily be because you now have a new consciousness regarding the duality of the body and mind. Just because I realize that they aren't as distinct and separate as before doesn't have any bearing on whether or not I choose to change my exercise or sleep schedules.

As for Bryn Mawr... I think that necessity will always triumph over all here. You will always end up doing what it takes to get things done. When it comes down to making a choice I don't think that people will ever pick something for their own physical and mental improvement over doing something necessary for their academic success. That's not the kind of person I feel that the Bryn Mawr student is; if she were, this wouldn't be the type of school that it is. Of course, I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with this, and others will think I am being too pessimistic, but it's still what I believe.

That is the most ironic part of all, I guess, because if we are going to talk about mind and body being interrelated, then theoretically the Bryn Mawr student, now having been enlightened to say, the benefit exercise delivers for your physical energy, would be ecstatic and all too eager to try it out, with the ultimate aim, of course, to improve her grades. Still, I don't see it happening.

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