The UK is in the top half of more relaxing countries with a score of 6.4 out of 10, but was beaten by Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Denmark and Finland.
Iceland came out top with a relaxation score of 9.26 out of 10, with Ireland in second place and Malta in third.
Countries in the Balkans and Eastern Europe made up the top 10 least relaxing, with Bosnia and Herzegovina coming last with a relaxation score of just 1.16.
A 2022 report indicated that as many as 33%-52% of individuals admit to feeling stressed, meaning relaxing and tranquil experiences are more important than ever.
This ranking system was based on research that suggests that nature and physical activity is an important factor in stress reduction.
Therefore it incorporated four categories in which each country was scored – the number of hiking trails; spas; yoga/pilates centres and national parks per 100,000 people, based on data collected in June 2023.
These factors lead to an overall relaxation score out of 10.
The study found that the UK has 29.63 hiking trails, 5.66 spas, 0.7 yoga/pilates centres, and 0.11 national parks per 100,000 people.
The winner, Iceland, has a whopping 168.5 hiking trails per 100,000 of its population and 12.01 spas.
The UK has 83% more national parks and 59% more yoga/pilates centres than France (0.06 and 0.44 respectively).
Iceland has the second most national parks of all countries analysed at 2.34 per capita, 12 times more than Spain (0.19).
The abundance of natural sanctuaries in Iceland increases exposure to nature and encourages physical activity which helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
Not only this, but the country has the third highest number of hiking trails per capita (168.50), more than double the amount found in Portugal (58.20).
Iceland is also home to the second highest number of yoga and pilates centres in the ranking, which can stimulate the production of endorphins and help with de-stressing.
Ireland, famous for its breathtaking landscapes, peaceful countryside and friendly atmosphere follows in second place with a relaxation score of 8.13/10.
Ireland has the fourth highest number of spas per capita among the top 15 and over three times the amount of national parks in the UK (29.63).
With nearly double the amount of hiking trails as Slovenia (28.72) in 15th place, Ireland proves to be an ideal location for relaxation.
Taking third place is Malta, with a relaxation score of 7.84/10.
Malta is a must-visit destination for those seeking a relaxing escape, with the highest number of spas per capita among all countries analysed (15.40).
When in need of a relaxing getaway, it’s clear that Scandinavia is a good choice or a short trip across the Irish sea.
James Roy, Technical Director at Brainworks Neurotherapy said: “A relaxing time away is one of the healthiest things you can do for your brain. The more foreign and the further from your daily routine the better.
“A change in environment helps brain flexibility and weakens our mental habits, while the unfamiliar sights and sounds stretch our brain in new ways.
“As our brains flex and come alive, colours become brighter, smells more intense, our sense of touch and intimacy is heightened.”
“This experience is often called the travel high. Some can find this greater brain flexibility quite addictive.
“The real power of a relaxing time away is clear when we arrive back home. The greater mental flexibility (increased neuroplasticity) brings more awareness, giving us the chance to see our lives afresh.
“This is the time to break the old habits, usher in the new and change your routine for the better.”