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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?

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