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

Rabia Qureshi

Mind and body are indeed inter-connected. They must each function in concert on order for each of us to maintain optimal health. That is to say that we must concentrate on strengthening the mind-body connection if we are to be healthy and remain that way.

Throughout the Women Living Well series, we have looked at mind and body as inter-related and in many ways this has helped in alerting us to think about our lifestyle habits, practices, and choices. Indubitably, our lifestyles are made up of a confluence of things and each of these things must work together to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In general, if we think about mind and body as connected, we are cognizant of the fact that a healthy body produces a healthy mind and vice versa. That is to say that if our bodies are physically strong and able to confront the issues of everyday life, i.e. waking up early, walking and/or driving far distances, stress, jobs, etcetera, our minds tend to be stronger and we perform more efficiently. On the other hand, if we are physically weak or sick, our performance is worse and our general mood is also worse. Only if we consider the mind and body as parts of the same whole will be equipped to meet the challenges of our everyday lifestyles.

At Bryn Mawr, I understood the mind-body connection very early in my academic career. Though I had been accustomed to staying up all night studying and writing papers, I soon discovered that the complete lack of sleep for two days at a time and sometimes more caused me to get sick very quickly. The stress of finishing work on time led to a deterioration in my physical well-being as well. It was only when I began to eat breakfast, exercise daily for at least fifteen minutes, and plan for an adequate amount of sleep that I finally was able to boost my immune system. Thus, the solution to my physical problem of being sick necessitated an holistic mind-body solution.
The mind and body definitely are interrelated. They affect each other and thus are the key to health for each other.

As our minds and bodies age, we must look to the connection between the two to understand how to treat our mental and physical ailments. Throughout the course of the Women Living Well series, we have looked at issues as seemingly diverse as sleep deprivation, exercise, addiction, and depression. The underlying reality however is that each of these issues is a facet of the total mind-body connection. If we think about mind and body as associated, we will not only be more aware and comprehensive of our health, but better able to treat ourselves. Therefore, we as women must continue to educated ourselves about the effects of ostensibly unrelated activities on our complete health outlook.

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