You may be feeling it right now. That ache in your back, the pounding headache, or the unsettled stomach. It’s uncomfortable and often debilitating. It can affect your work and your social life, and you just want to feel better as soon as possible. 25506366_S

What you’re probably experiencing is inflammation. Inflammation is a necessary, albeit frustrating, biological process, occurring when our immune system is taking over some part of our body to account for something being a little “off.”

Basically, it’s our body’s way of relaying information about the need for treatment so recovery can begin.

Sometimes, though, it’s not so simple. Depending on certain factors like poor diet and general lifestyle, the immune system can be kicked into overdrive and have a hard time keeping up with all of the body processes that need to be adjusted. Enter: inflammation.

The good news is that inflammation is usually relatively easy to reduce (provided that the cause of your inflammation isn’t something much more serious that should be addressed by a professional). Here’s what you can do to start feeling better.

Drink water.
Water makes a major difference in many bodily processes. It serves as a lubricant for your joints and helps to cleanse your body of toxic waste. Without proper hydration, waste and toxins can continue to accumulate in your body. Opinions vary on exactly how much water one needs in a day because it’s highly dependent on your size and weight, as well as activity level. Just know that dehydration is a big contributing factor to inflammation. Studies show that 75% of Americans are dehydrated, so drink up.

Get some shut-eye.
Sleep, or lack thereof, can have a profound impact on your body. During sleep, your body has the chance to naturally heals itself from the day’s activities. Without proper sleep, you deprive your body of this much-needed repairing time and can set you up for an unwelcome bout of inflammation.

Eat healthy.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean that you limit your favorite foods. Eating healthy simply means incorporating varying foods in your diet and helps ensure you get your daily intake of a spectrum of vitamins and minerals. A wholesome, healing diet focuses on good fats, fruits and veggies from all colors of the rainbow, and whole grains.

Start moving.
Exercising regularly improves circulation, which results in a flushing of toxins from tissues experiencing inflammation. Without movement, inflammation-causing toxins can build up and trigger pain. Try to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine, whether going for a brisk morning walk, taking the stairs at work or relaxing with an evening stroll.

It’s easier than you think to incorporate these healing activities into your life. Pick one and build from there. Start reducing inflammation now and look forward to a faster healing process.