August 15, 2011
I’m willing to bet that International Pancake Day blew right by in March and you didn’t have the decency to chow down a short stack. And I’ll go out on a limb and wonder aloud if anyone reading this actually hugged a tree last Arbor Day, let alone planted one.
But today, my friends, you have a chance to make things right. For today is National Relaxation Day.
You could go old-school chill—you know, kick back with a green tea and watch a few hours of C-Span. Or you could try a fresh way to get your veg on.
You might start with a tall glass of Vacation in a Bottle (VIB). It’s one of the new “relaxation drinks” being ballyhooed as the next big thing in the beverage business. The key ingredient in VIB is L-theanine, an amino acid that studies have shown produces supposedly relaxing alpha waves in your brain. Other brands contain melatonin, the hormone that maintains your body’s circadian clock, but also can make you sleepy. In fact, one of those brands, Drank, goes so far as to promote itself as a purveyor of “Extreme Relaxation”—an interesting concept, not to be confused, I suppose, with comatose.
Up until a few weeks ago, another chill product, Lazy Cakes, was out there dangling the promise of extreme relaxation. (Its package also warned that the brownies might cause “excessive use of the word ‘dude’.”) But in late July the FDA sent the company a letter describing the little taste treats as “adulterated,” because melatonin has not been approved for use in food. That’s harsh, dude.
Maybe it’s better to stick with technology. Apps, as we know, can now do almost anything, short of getting my dog to eat with a fork. So it’s not surprising they offer many pathways to your inner mellow. Here’s a sampling:
- Buddha Board (iPhone app): It’s just like the paint set of the same name, except you use your finger instead of a brush to paint in the water. The point still is to live in the moment … in your phone.
- Pzizz Energizer (iPhone and Android): Don’t be thrown by the name. The idea is that you’ll feel energized after you have been taken to the land of power napping with one of its many soporific soundtracks.
- Pranayama Lite (iPad, iPhone, Android): It has a Zen message: Don’t breathe so much. Stick with it and you may get down to four breaths per minute. At that point, you’ll be able to hear the words “Wall Street” and merely chuckle. There also are iPhone and Android versions.
- SRS Relaxation Portal (iPad, iPhone, Android app): Spin the globe and tune in stress-killing sounds from around the world. It’s a small world after all.
- Simply Being (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry): It’s a simple introduction to meditation, guided by a soothing voice and music, that is so laid back it makes “easy listening” sound like techno.
If you can’t gear down with any of the above today, picture yourself curling up in the Cradle Chair. Don’t know about you, but I think I could stay there a few months.
At the very least, listen to this.
And here’s a bonus: A recent study found that people who are relaxed are more likely to overpay for things. (Including, just perhaps, relaxation products?) So get mellow and stimulate the economy.
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