Good Read

5 cool ways to chill
Photo by Jeff Padrick

Need to relax? Here are five ideas from the new 1001 Ways to Relax (Chronicle Books, 2004) by Mike George, meditation teacher and stress counselor.

Write a “have done” list. This is a valuable antidote to ever-increasing “to do” lists, which can trigger anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Rebalance your tense posture hourly, especially during prolonged periods of desk work. Simply change your position or straighten your spine and lower your shoulders.

Tickle someone. Being tickled stimulates pleasure and pain receptors simultaneously, thus relieving stress. In addition, the tickled’s laughter is instantly infectious.

Going somewhere? Keep your mind at ease while traveling by leaving a paper trail behind. Bequeath your friends with photocopies of your passport, tickets, insurance details, and traveler’s checks. If your original documents get lost or stolen, you’ll be able to recover the necessary information with minimal disruption to your trip.

Transform your commute to work into relaxing time with yourself. Read, listen to music, or meditate if you’re not driving. (If you travel by public transport, leave home a tad early, so you are sure to find a seat on the bus or train.)

—Ramin Ganeshram