A researcher at the University of California, Irvine, has prosed a new sort of “TLC” for treating mental illnesses. Rather than “tender loving care,” psychologist Roger Walsh’s version stands for “therapeutic lifestyle changes.”
In a paper published in the journal American Psychologist, Walsh recommended that teens and adults who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental disorders may benefit as much from exercise, group activities and nature walks as from medication or psychiatric care.
After reviewing medical literature on the effects of an isolated lifestyle, Walsh, who is a professor at the university’s College of Medicine, said that many mood disorders are associated with solitude and under-socializing.
He said that certain kinds of TLC may be able to improve attitude and outlook. These include exercising regularly, eating a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet, having a hobby, getting outdoors, meditating, using relaxation techniques and engaging in charitable activities.
The Nemours Foundation adds that expressing one’s feelings, looking on the positive side of things and refraining from dwelling on the past are three more natural methods of combating depression.