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6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier

How a positive attitude really can make a difference

Tai chi creates a feeling of relaxation and calm.

Those who practice tai chi often experience less stress and a greater sense of well-being. — Yann Layma/Getty Images

6. Try Tai Chi

The gentle movements of tai chi reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure and relieve chronic pain. These low-impact, slow-motion exercises encourage you to focus on your breathing and your body and allow you to concentrate fully on the present.

"Tai chi contributes to a more positive attitude not only as a result of the exercise but through the support of working in a group," says Chenchen Wang, M.D., research rheumatologist at Tufts University Medical School in Boston.

This mind-body practice teaches you how to stand, walk, lift and breathe in a perfectly natural way, explains Tricia Yu of Taos, N.M., who has taught tai chi for 38 years. Tai chi is suitable for everyone and can be adapted to individual needs, she notes.

"Both yoga, which comes from India, and tai chi, from China, are mind-body practices that reflect millennia of understanding how the mind and body work together," says Yu.

Taking a class is the best way to learn tai chi.

You may also like: Optimism linked to a reduced risk of stroke. >>

Nissa Simon writes about health and science.

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