Zen lessons from the most chilled out countries in the world
Want to start the New Year with a fresh perspective? Lastminute.com has researched the most relaxing countries in the world, comparing the number of green spaces, days of annual leave and pollution levels.
Here's a list of relaxation techniques of the world's most chilled out countries to help you de-stress.
Between work and socialising, it can be difficult to find time to wind down. In lastminute.com's latest study, it was revealed that the most relaxed nations had more than 25 days of annual leave per year, miles of coastline and plenty of green spaces.
After a long year, getting into the right mind frame is important for many of us this 2019. Here's a list of techniques and practices you can introduce into your life to improve self-awareness, peace and mindfulness:
â€¢ Meditation and Yoga (India) - India is the birthplace for yoga and meditation; both are popular techniques in the world to help achieve emotional and mental clarity. As well as an important religious and spiritual practice, meditation has been found to help reduce stress, improve sleep, control pain and promote self-awareness. Yoga is also a great way to improve flexibility, aid weight loss and increase your energy â€“ something we could all do with as we celebrate the New Year.
â€¢ Mesimeri/Siesta (Greece and Spain) - Who doesn't love a good night's rest? A bad night's sleep can leave us feeling groggy, unprepared and moodier than usual. Mediterranean countries seem to have mastered this with mesimeris/siestas (naps) being incredibly common throughout the region. Recent studies have shown both the Mediterranean diet and napping for around 20-30 minutes during the day can help you live for longer. A short nap can help increase alertness, improve memory, increase energy and may give you that creative spark you've been lacking.
â€¢ Wine (France) - Being one of the largest wine producers in the world, it's not surprising that the nation enjoys a glass, or two, of wine with their meals! Whilst there's a lot of debate about whether a glass of wine has health benefits, it can surely help you unwind and encourage you to socialise amongst friends and family â€“ promoting emotional happiness.
â€¢ Thai Massage (Thailand) - A traditional method, a Thai massage is a great way to start the New Year by relieving the aches and pains from a hectic lifestyle. Based on the Ayurvedic principles, which are thousands of years old, this massage technique uses stretching, acupressure and rocking motions. A vigorous massage therapy, it has been found to help reduce stress, headaches and back pain and increase energy.
â€¢ Saunas (Finland) - Recent reports show Finland's population of 5.3 million has around 3.3 million saunas â€“ which works out to be an average of one sauna per household! They can be found in homes, offices, hotels and nearly every building throughout the country, allowing people to switch off from the busy world. This steamy method will help aid circulation, eliminate any toxins from your body, and also help you achieve a state of mindfulness â€“ and don't forget that amazing glow afterward!
â€¢ Hot Springs (Japan) - As an ancient practice, you might have to go further afield than your city centre for this technique, but in Japan, thousands of hot springs can be found throughout the country. Known as "onsen", the hot springs reach temperatures of 98-100 degrees, helping to alleviate pain, stress, and also leave you with beautiful skin, all whilst taking in the natural beauty of the land.
"As we welcome 2019 with open arms, many of us are looking to start off feeling refreshed and ready to take on the year ahead. By looking to other cultures, we can borrow tried and tested traditions â€“ from hot springs to meditation â€“ to help us feel zen," Reigo Eljas, country director UK and Ireland at lastminute.com, said.
"Our analysis of the World's Most Chilled Out Countries reveals that Indonesia ranks as the most relaxed nation out of all others in our study. If intrepid travelers are seeking out relaxation close to home, we also discovered that Europe is home to seven of the top 15 most relaxed countries."
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