How to Feel Better Every Day
Tune Up Your Commute
A commute longer than 22 minutes each way may have a negative impact on your well-being, according to a study in The Scandinavian Journal of Economics. But there are ways you can mitigate those adverse effects without calling a moving van. For one, try cutting coffee out of your morning routine, since caffeine can worsen stress and increase anxiety, suggests Andrew Weil, M.D., the author of Spontaneous Happiness ($16, amazon.com). Also consider using the commute time as a mini break. Find a good podcast, focus on your breathing, or indulge in a little music therapy. A recent British study set out to find the top-10 most relaxing songs, measuring, among other things, rhythms and tones that help slow breathing and heart rate over the course of the song. “Weightless,” by the Manchester band Marconi Union, was first on the list; it slowed the resting heart rate in women by an impressive 35 percent! Less soporific options include “Watermark,” by Enya; “Someone Like You,” by Adele; and Mozart’s “Canzonetta sull’aria.”
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So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.