Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Sweat

pocket therapist front cover small.jpg

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

Working out your distress quite literally–by running, swimming, walking, or kick-boxing–is going to give you immediate relief.


On a physiological level.

Because exercise increases the activity of serotonin and/or norepinehrine and stimulates brain chemicals that foster growth of nerve cells. In fact, some recent studies have suggested that regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants to lift a mood.

And emotionally.

Because by wearing a stylish sweat suit and sneakers we become the sergeant with a whistle, taking charge of our health and giving orders to our mind and body, even if our limbic system, tummies, and thighs are in sorry shape and curse us for forcing them to move or do a sit-up.

You don’t have to be training for an Ironman to feel the antidepressant effects of exercise. Even picking the weeds and watering the flowers have been shown to boost moods. However, I have found kickboxing especially effective because you can visualize the fellow who is responsible for your pain and hi-yah him in the face.

Now doesn’t that feel good?

  • traveling521

    Great tips, Therese. I find that STRESS is too much “crunched” energy — or “not enough flowing, good-feeling life energy.” Similar to there not being enough water in your stream, and you keep running into rocks. Exercise is a great way of raising the flow of life energy — of raising the level of the water in the stream. Also laughing, singing, dancing (for fun), meditating, feeling gratitude — anything that lifts the flow of energy and keeps you from hitting more “rocks.” Removing “stress-rocks” is important — but enhancing your energy is a fast antidote to stress.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment spareparts

    Oh Therese,

    Jazzercise! has some great kickboxing routines! I used to picture the sources of my ire and beat the heck out of them… What we said while we were kicking to Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” was that we didn’t SWEAT… We “glowed”…

    I have not been able to go to a class in years, but I have lots of good memories.

    Thanks for another good article!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    Thanks, Therese. Without regular exercise, my life would be far more challenging. Sweating from physical exercise actually feels good. Weird, I know. Sweating when its 95 degrees is a drag, but not after 45 minutes working out. Get your ipod and some music or a podcast you like and the time goes by. And try an elyptical if you never have, readers. I was tired of running and didn’t like bike machines but took to this one right way.

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