This past Sunday, at a public park in Seoul, dozens of citizens sat on small blue blankets, wearing athletic numbers and looking straight ahead. But they weren’t stretching, hydrating, or otherwise gearing up for the main event. This was the main event—the annual “Relax Your Brain” competition.
The contest challenges participants to chill out without their smartphones, Agence France-Presse reports. It drew competitors of all ages. Checking your watch is forbidden, as is moving around. The person with the most stable heartbeat throughout wins.
“Relax Your Brain” was first held in 2014 by local artists. It struck a particular nerve: this year, it drew 1,500 applicants for the 60 competition spots. It also gained the support of Seoul’s City Council, who hyped it up in a statement: “Let our brain – never free from information overload from a smartphone, TV or computer – relax! Let’s enjoy just thinking nothing!”
Of all the world’s countries, South Korea has the highest percentage of smartphone-owning citizens. While a competition may seem like a strange way to de-stress, participants seemed enthused. “This event is highly recommended for those who have migraines or complicated thoughts,” said the winner, Shin Hyo-Seob, aka Crush, a popular rapper who entered the contest to unwind after recording an album.
Jealous? This is the kind of contest you can do yourself, at home: on your mark, get set, chill.
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