The 10 Most Chill US Cities of 2017

The 10 Most Chill US Cities of 2017

Did your hometown rank among the calmest in the nation?

Staying calm isn’t an easy practice. But if Chicagoans can do it in one of the harshest climates in the country, you can, too. The Windy City topped our list of the most chill metro areas in the United States, compiled using 2017 data from RealAge. It's a test that examines your health history and lifestyle to determine your physical age compared to your calendar age.

Here’s the complete list of the top ten cities:

  1. Chicago, IL
  2. Milwaukee, WI
  3. Miami, FL
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Nashville, TN
  6. Washington, DC
  7. Buffalo, NY
  8. Minneapolis, MN
  9. San Francisco, CA
  10. Atlanta, GA

To further support our results showing harsher weather didn’t hurt moods: Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Buffalo also made the top 10. The rest of the most relaxed places were a mix of regions and climates, suggesting you can be laid-back anywhere you set up house.

Tips for chilling out
Want to be calmer, wherever you are? Follow the tips below.

Try deep breathing. Generally, when we're stressed, we take shorter breaths that don’t always provide enough oxygen. To get your breathing under control and help relax, try this: sit in a comfortable place, even it’s your office chair. Breathe in for four seconds. Hold that breath for two more seconds. Then, breathe out for six seconds. Repeat several times. You can also start with shorter breaths.

Teach yourself a new relaxation technique. Mindfulness, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery—focusing on a positive image when you encounter a negative one—are four easy-to-learn methods of improving relaxation when you're anxious or stressed. Places like Dartmouth University offer free audio files for self-teaching.

Find a relaxing setting wherever you are. While a yoga studio provides an amazing location for relaxation exercises, they can happen anywhere. A comfy office chair may be the perfect place to practice deep breathing or guided imagery—or even self-hypnosis—in short bursts. Find a nesting spot for a few minutes of relaxation at least once per day.

Take time to laugh. One method of relaxation is to simply find what makes you happy and keeps you calm. While a good laugh at a comedy show or in front of a television set is wonderful, sometimes you need a chuckle on the go. Have mp3s of your favorite comic you can play in the car. Carry a funny book with you. Do what you can to give yourself the small break from reality we all need sometimes.

Get help from a professional. Because there are so many methods of relaxation, the right person to help you relax may be a family member, friend, fitness or yoga instructor, massage therapist or even a psychologist. Ask friends who they use, or get referrals from professional organizations or other practitioners you might see. For instance, many chiropractors work with or know a good massage therapist.

Relaxation methods can be clinical, or as simple as reading a book—and there isn't a one-size-fits-all way to let your hair down. So, whatever method you choose, make sure it's the right one for you.

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