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

Thoughts on Mind Body Wellness

Sara Press

Talking about the mind and body as inter-related helps women to think about
lifestyle habits and choices by seeing how it effects all aspects of their life. During this
series we saw the causes of headaches, stress, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and
many other things. Besides learning about how they work and what they do to women we
also looked at how they effect all aspects of women's life. For instance, if you do not get
enough sleep, Dr. Grace Pien showed us many studies that are being done about how you
are very likely to remember less and be dangerous when driving. Beyond the simple
explanations it is also clear that if you haven't slept you do not feel up to many things that
normally seem like no big deal, such as working out or just enjoying your day. (This is a
hard thing to hear during finals when none of us sleep.) In general the series helped to
show how everything is inter-related and why women should try to get enough sleep, eat
well, exercise and take care of themselves.

We also discussed depression and addiction, which can have a clear and horrible
effect on women's life. These are two very important topics since it appears that many
young women are coming out finally and admitting their depression, it effects a large
percentage of our population. Also, addiction can be seen with tons of women, just go to
Starbucks or Xandos and listen to all of us joke about how we 'need' that latte, chai, or
some other form of coffee. This is not mentioning smoking and the drugs that are
becoming more prevalent, even on Bryn Mawr's campus.

At Bryn Mawr many of my personal healthy habits do not seem to fit into my life.
Due to the fact that I have to cook for myself now that I am off campus, I have a tendency
to not get three full meals a day, but this is the opposite problem from having the cafeteria
where we all seemed to eat much more than we needed or wanted. Many of us try to
workout regularly, but unless involved in a sport, it is rare that we can keep up any type
of schedule for too long. Also, at Bryn Mawr sleep is irregular at best and this can be a huge problem. So just these aspects alone make it hard to treat our bodies as a temple, and we notice the mind body connection way too frequently because we often do not feel as good as we would like to feel.

This series helped to remind me of this connection and I have been making
attempts to eat better, sleep more, and continue a workout schedule. And although I
probably do drink too much coffee at times, after listening to Karen Levin's talk about
Women and Addiction, I am glad that that is my only vice. Many college students fall
into a trap of feeling like they need to stay up constantly and end up with an addiction to speed, coke, or one of the many methamphetamines (sp?). This is not even mentioning the constant alcohol abuse that occurs on college campuses. Even if it is not addiction, over drinking frequently is a good way to hurt your body and mind. So now when I go out to a bar with friends I can look around and remind myself that I don't want to hurt my body by getting drunk. Once drunk, it can have a bad effect on a few days and hurt your liver.
The next day you will probably not feel like working out, and will not be friendly or as
happy as you would have been had you not drank the night before. Many people wake up
and immediately take a few Aleve, and as Dr. Larry Kerson reminded us, many times if
we use pills such as Aleve as crutches, it makes the headaches worse and really is

It should be clear that the mind and body are not distinct aspects of human
experience, because they have huge effects on each other, this has been shown over and
over again in current research. Even now doctors are telling their patients about visualization. This is because your mind and body are connected and if you think and act healthily, you will probably remain healthy.

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