No, we’re not talking “tender loving care.” In the medical community, TLC stands for “therapeutic lifestyle changes,” such as getting more exercise, time in nature or helping others. And the benefits of TLC are huge. According to a new paper published by the American Psychological Association, TLC can be as effective as drugs or counseling to treat an array of mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
Other TLCs include nutrition and diet, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management (including massage!), and religious or spiritual affiliations. According to research reviewed in the paper, medical professionals are recommended to learn more about the benefits of TLCs, and devote more time to foster patients’ TLCs.
The research also recognizes that encouraging widespread adoption of therapeutic lifestyles by the public is likely to require wide-scale measures encompassing educational, mental, and public health systems, as well as political leadership.