Final Analysis: The Neurotic's Guide to Relaxation

So you want to chill out? Go right ahead. No judgment here; just some facts.

By Jason Good, published on November 5, 2013 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

BEND AND STRETCH

People claim yoga is so effective that it can change one's personality. From what I can tell, that mostly means creating an insatiable desire to talk about yoga. Basically it comes down to this: Would you like to be tense and cool, or relaxed and annoying?

Side effects May include wrist soreness, increased body odor, and sudden bouts of accidental farting.

INHALE, EXHALE

Deep breathing might calm you down, but meanwhile you'll appear to others as if you're staving off a homicidal rage.

Side effects Expect light-headedness, hyperventilation, and halitosis—and to make everybody around you tense as hell.

SAY OM

Meditation is kind of like a nap, except you aren't permitted to fall asleep. First, sit in the most uncomfortable position possible: cross-legged on the floor. Then close your eyes and release all judgment, because meditation is mostly about trying not to get mad at yourself for failing to successfully meditate.

Side effects You can look forward to the experience of pure relaxation—a feeling that will stay with you for the rest of the day, even while you're walking straight into traffic.

BREAK A SWEAT

How can exercise—which feels terrible—make you so happy later? Perhaps it's just stopping exercise that feels good. Let's put it this way: Say you hit your knee with a drywall hammer. You'll be relieved once the pain goes away. But what if you didn't hit your knee with that hammer? You'd probably feel consistently decent.

Side effects Pulled groin, sprains, blisters, fatigue, and a sticky layer of sweat.

GET WASTED

Pills and booze always work. You'll feel great, and very relaxed. So relaxed that you might even be able to meditate.

Side effects You'll be abandoned by everyone who loves you and die at 38.