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

The Role of Balance in Wellness

Mariah Schumacher

Through the "Women Living Well" series, I have become more aware of the connection between the mind and the body. A person's mind, body and spirit are connected through a delicate equilibrium and it is apparent that if one of these spheres is not properly cared for, it will create imbalance in the other spheres as well. In the "Migraine Headaches and Stress" lecture, eating, sleeping and working habits were all discussed as possible factors which can cause headaches. I believe that keeping lifestyle habits as regular as possible helps the body to adjust into a rhythm and thus helps the body to stay strong and healthy. In the exercise and mental health lecture, exercise was emphasized as a vital part of maintaining overall wellness. I find that exercising regularly helps me to maintain mental focus for certain tasks. Exercising also keeps the body strong so that it can sustain healthy, strong immune functioning. Exercising keeps the emotional sphere in balance because it can be a source of stress relief. Not only do lifestyle habits such as eating, sleeping and exercising affect physical, mental, and emotional wellness but certain important life choices and practices can drastically and permanently affect well being. The effects of addiction on one's life are serious. Addiction to drugs or alcohol have documented physical effects on the brain, kidneys, lungs, and many other vital organs. The damage is often irreparable. In addition to those obviously frightening effects, addiction affects a person's ability to maintain balance in her life. An addict can't focus on any aspect of her life besides the substance and thus her mental and emotional well being is compromised. Her relationships to others suffer and she can not work. In summary, I have learned that balance and regularity in lifestyle, habits and practices is in many ways the general rule for maintaining health in every sphere of life: in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

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