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Women gather for symposium

Over 230 women gathered for breakfast and a morning of food for thought during Mayo Clinic Health System’s women’s health and well-being symposium, according to a press release. The free event was April 7 at Wedgewood Cove in Albert Lea.

Attendees said they learned how resiliency can positively impact mental and physical health. Among the techniques offered during the symposium were methods of practicing self-care, embracing compassion and expressing gratitude.

“Each day, before you get out of bed think of five people whom you are thankful for,” said Sarah Stinson, a licensed professional counselor and facilitator in stress management and resiliency training at Mayo Clinic Health System.

“Visualize them and say a silent gratitude,” Stinson said. “This technique releases oxytocin in the brain, which is the love hormone. Later on, instead of fretting about what needs to be done that day, you will recall that feeling of love.”

Additional presenters included Dr. Tyler Oesterle, a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic Health System  Fountain Centers in Albert Lea. Oesterle discussed unique mental health issues women experience that stem from addiction.

“So, women are more likely to suffer with what we call a co-morbid mental health diagnosis like anxiety and depression,” Oesterle said. “So, if they have alcohol addiction, they’re much more likely to have depression and anxiety than men.  They’re also much more likely to suffer traumatic consequences when they have addiction.”

Carol Gardner, a certified women’s health physical therapist, also provided tips for calming physical pain induced by stressful situations.