Acupuncture is a terrific way to alleviate pain and ailments in the body, but traditional Chinese Medicine also stresses the importance of preventing health issues before they become a problem. Many of the steps you can take to keep yourself healthy play a factor in your emotional well-being and overall quality of life. Here are some simple, positive changes you can make today to live a happier and healthier life:

  • Get adequate rest.

Quality sleep repairs both your body and mind. Physiological functions rely on NREM sleep while REM cycles restore mental capabilities. Your body also increases its cell turnover rate during sleeping periods. Make sure you are getting at least seven hours of sleep every night! If nighttime dreams elude you, schedule an acupuncture session; the treatment is proven to help with insomnia.

  • Maintain a diet rich in essential fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) play a vital role in the life cycle of cardiac cells and are associated with alleviating depression and stress. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing pain and swelling within the joints and relieving arthritis pain. Examples of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds, and certain vegetables such as winter squash. Nutritional supplements are also available.

  • Exercise regularly.

The benefits of exercise are limitless, and simply by adding half an hour of walking into your schedule a few times a week you can start to feel immediate results. Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins in your brain, releasing stress and invoking a feeling of relaxation. Exercise causes your cardiovascular system to work more effectively by delivering oxygen and nutrients into your system, resulting in a boost of energy as well as helping to prevent a multitude of diseases. Of course, exercise also assists with weight management and often improves self-esteem.

  • Live a life of gratitude.

Numerous studies have shown that grateful individuals report much higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism. The simple act of acknowledging the blessings in your life, be it a loving pet or a beautiful sunset, can lower your risk for depression and lessen the impact of stress. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to make gratitude part of your routine; try prayer, meditation, or keeping a gratitude journal.

These steps are extremely easy to implement in your life and will have a profound effect on your physical and mental well-being. Make an effort to focus on at least two of them today!