If you haven't booked a massage, a session at your local isolation therapy tank or a lazy day at the beach to celebrate the joyous holiday that is National Relaxation Day (August 15), do not panic. First of all, there is no panicking allowed on National Relaxation Day. Second of all, we've compiled a list of six of the most relaxing things ever -- all of which you can do right now.
Listen To The Most Relaxing Song Ever
In 2011, a group of sound therapists and a band called Marconi Union put their heads together to create, what they claim to be, the most relaxing song ever. "Weightless," a track that maintains a constant 60 BPM, synchronizes listeners' heart rates and brainwaves -- the latter, a phenomenon known as entrainment. Sound a little far fetched? While more research is needed, one review of the literature found that "BWE," as it's known, could have a benefit when it comes to targeting stress.
"While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat," says Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy. "The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure."
Get A Little Dose Of Aquarium Therapy
Aquariums are a blast, and according to some research, watching those fish go by might have a lasting, stress-relieving effect -- at least among psychiatric patients suffering from pre-treatment anxiety and depression, according to one study. More research conducted at Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium found contemplating the sea creatures helped with anxiety. But if you don't have time to sneak away to your local aquarium today, this virtual fish tank above could do the trick.
Practice A Tea Meditation
It'd be only in the spirit of National Relaxation Day to enjoy a simple cup of tea, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and abate stress. Kick your zen up a notch with a tea meditation, or just allow yourself to be entranced by the mesmerizing, virtual beverage above.
Take Some Deliberate, Deep Breaths There might not be anything more basic than a deep breath to trigger the body's relaxation response. The breath counting exercise above should work wonders if your brain is especially buzzing today.
Imagine Yourself Here, Floating
We couldn't do the photoshopping for you, but just imagining yourself on a vacation in a peaceful place has relaxing powers. "Simply visualize anything that keeps your thoughts away from current tensions: [It] could be a favorite vacation spot, a fantasy island, that penthouse in New York City -- or something "touchable," like the feel of your favorite silk robe or cozy sweater," WebMD suggests. Prefer something on dry land? Click here for 13 inviting hammocks to imagine yourself lounging on. Whatever that place is for you -- go there, and enjoy.
Read Over These Detailed Instructions On How To Take A Nap At Work -- Then Take One
Napping at work is serious business: A little shut-eye can keep your stress in check and, believe it or not, promote productivity on the job. So relax, and schedule some time to doze off to dreamland with these expert tips from Dr. Lawrence Epstein and James Maas, Ph.D.