Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (“TLCs”) a term coined by Psychologist Dr Roger Walsh are simple choices we can make that are cheap, readily available and have few negative side effects. Some of these TLCs are: deciding to exercise, choosing a healthy diet, spending time in nature, making time to engage in recreational and enjoyable activities and participating in spiritual or religious activities. These represent choices we can integrate into our life to impact our overall physical and mental well-being.
We are inundated with all kinds of messages that promote unhealthy decisions and behaviors, such as food marketing. When we consume unhealthy foods we feel worse – ultimately, we are what we eat. Often we engage in a sedentary lifestyle, rather than one that’s active. However, we have the power over the choices we make. And it is the choices we make that determine whether we’re going to be healthy and ultimately become a resilient person or not.
TLCs are defined as a set of values, beliefs, habits and practices. Today’s living affords us all kinds of convenience, luxury and material pleasures. But the competition, the multitasking and the chaos results in increased stress leading many people to adopt unhealthy lifestyles. Our fulfillment in life depends on the choices we make every day.
By taking small incremental steps to incorporate more TLCs into our life thru exercise, sleep and our nutritional habits we also facilitate the health of our mind. Our goal is to stay focused on this mind-body connection and make specific choices to help our mind to be resilient. Scientific research has uncovered exercise, eating well and good sleep as the 3 main ingredients. These three factors lower our risk for various health problems including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. Being active physically eases depression, relieves stress and anxiety, increases our self worth and improves our overall outlook on life. When we sleep the best, we feel physically and mentally the best. And ultimately we perform the best.
So how can we achieve the rest that allows our body and mind to restore? One practice is to begin rituals that help you relax before bed. To improve sleep habits we have to condition our body to know that bed is a place where we sleep. Think about making your bedroom quiet and keep the TV, the phone and other stimulating devices out. We can also develop meditative practices that direct our attention to something that’s relaxing and the best thing we can meditate on is our breath.
We are under control of making healthy lifestyle choices. At any time in our lives when we notice that we’re making unhealthy decisions, we have to change course and start making healthy ones. Exercising, eating better, sleeping well, engaging in leisure and recreation are all therapeutic choices that are cheap, easy and have no negative side effects and yet they help us to become resilient people.