Nine amusing ways to stay out of the therapist's office

| December 2004 issue
· Try not to take yourself seriously. Stand in front of a mirror and make funny faces, even in public.
· Get a pet that suits you and give it a strange name. Don’t forget to take care of it.
· Get some exercise. Squash and badminton are very civilized sports that enable you to channel your aggression. Or hang a punching bag from the ceiling at home so you can smack it once in awhile. (Don’t confuse your punching bag with your pet.)
· Make music. Sing. Dance. Start drawing or putter around. Release your creativity.
· Share your deepest fears with loved ones and friends. If you can’t do that, you’ve surrounded yourself with the wrong people. Leave hearth and home and start living the life of a Parisian vagabond. If this doesn’t appeal to you, make another attempt to share your fears with loved ones and friends.
· Accept yourself as you are. Learn how to forgive yourself and others. Crack open a holy book or use whatever common sense you have.
· If you still have a problem: close your eyes, focus directly on the problem for three minutes and then say: “Interesting!” and start laughing really hard. Keep laughing until your jaw muscles begin to hurt. That’s enough. Then simply go about your business.
· Consider this: in the light of eternity you’re only a flash, moving one step closer to death while the world keeps spinning.
· But the best thing you can do is this: avoid psychological problems. Do work that is useful and satisfies you, eat healthy (chew well!) and love the people around you.

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