Driving to relax

A few ideas to stay relaxed whilst on the road.

A great cause of stress in day to day life can come about whilst driving a car. Most of us have to drive in order to get to work and be with family and friends. Yet this necessary activity does not need to be a source of stress; rather a chance to enjoy the ride and relax. Here below, can I share with you; ten ideas of driving to relax:

1. Combining journeys

Consider how many errands you can combine in one journey. For example: go shopping on the way home from work; book appointments in town on the same day; arrange to visit far away friends and family on the same day; give a lift to a neighbour going the same way.

The great circle route

If you have to use your car and drive; then try and combine as many journeys as possible. Not only are you saving time; you saving fuel, the environment and reducing your risks of becoming stressed whilst out on the road.

2. Allow time and plan your journey

Do not put yourself under pressure; by leaving the house too late and trying to make up by speeding to your destination. If you are driving on unfamiliar roads or to a faraway destination; check traffic reports and plan your journey to avoid traffic jams and roadworks. The AA have a great website; here is a link: https://www.theaa.com/route-planner/route

If you are just driving the regular commute to work or to the next town to see family and friends; why leave late and rush? It is kind of paradoxical; that the more organised and prepared we become, the more time we are actually relaxed. This is because nothing comes as a shock in our schedule.

3. Clean and declutter your car and windscreen

Keep your car clean; especially the windscreen. This is because our peripheral vision notices movement; so take down those air fresheners.

Where is the road?

In addition try and keep the windscreen; both inside and out clean. This is because our eyes are constantly focusing on different objects whilst we are driving to be aware of possible threats to our safety. Therefore, help yourself; by cleaning off grime and bugs from the windscreen. If you have cracks in your windscreen; get it replaced as soon as possible. Normally, your car insurance will cover the cost. If the windows are misted up or icy; be patient and let them clear. As the saying goes: “a stitch in time; saves nine”.

4. You are the captain of your ship

If you are carrying passengers be aware of their character and consider how it could affect your ability to drive safely and stay relaxed. Screaming children, crying babies, screaming and crying partners, ‘backseat’ drivers, drunk friends, chatty neighbours; mentally prepare before you set off in the car with them.

This is your captain!

Although, you don’t want to come across as a begrudging driver; you are in charge of your car and everyone within it. Like the captain of a ship; if anything happens, you will be held responsible, so be firm yet positive with your passengers. Some passengers, such as children; are simply not aware of how their behaviour can affect your ability to drive in a safe and relaxed manner. So make sure they are in a good mood before you set off; make sure they are fed and watered and have a book or toy to play with. When they inevitably demand to go the toilet in the middle of a freeway; calmly tell them you will pull over as soon as possible. Bring spare clothes and wet wipes for children; so if they cannot hold on, they can freshen up when you are finally able to stop.

5. Let the music play but your way

Personally as a professional truck driver, I drive in silence; without any music or radio. I am listening to the sounds of the engine to gauge engine speed and for outside hazards.

I like listening to the sound of silence

If you do feel the need to play music whilst driving; consider the tempo or speed of the song. Studies have shown that playing music with a beat faster than your heart rate; will subconsciously cause you to speed up and possibly drive in a reckless manner.

Consider, playing classical music to inspire you as you drive through rolling rural landscapes. Try to play happy and upbeat songs; that will cause your body to release serotonin and heighten your senses. Try to avoid to sad or aggressive music that may cause you to dwell on unpleasant thoughts or experiences which may cause you to loose concentration. Try listening to: podcasts, audio-books or a interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 (92-95 FM or 198 long wave).

Yet always be aware of your surroundings; especially approaching emergency vehicles trying to pass you.

6. Read the road and pay it forward

Most road hazards give you warning signs before they develop. Read the road like a developing story and prepare to give way.

Use clues to know what is around the corner

A slow moving car in front of you; may mean the driver is looking for an address and may suddenly turn off. Mud on the road; may mean there is a slow moving tractor after a blind bend. Lots of mums walking along the street in mid afternoon; may mean school has finished and children may run out in the road. Look for the signs, that will prepare you; leaving you ready but relaxed.

In addition, never think that you are in a race with other road users. If someone cuts you up; let them go, they are safer in front of you. If someone is waiting patiently to pull out of a side road; let them out if you will not hold up other road users and cause an accident. If a slow lorry is trying to reverse across a road to park; stop and give them the space they need. Pay the love forward and hopefully someone will repay the favour later on.

7. No need for speed

Driving faster than necessary will not get you much further up the road; yet will open you up to risks, fines and avoidable stress.

Watch those dials!

Most car journeys we make are locally; to work, the shops and family. On these short journeys; speeding will only get there a few minutes quicker at most! For example: driving ten miles at 35 mph instead of 30 mph; will only get you to your destination three minutes earlier. So consider what you will do in those three minutes. Are they worth a speeding ticket? Are they worth risking an accident? Are they worth the extra stress?

8. Pull over

A major cause of stress whilst driving is caused by someone following you too closely; causing you to focus on them and not the road ahead.

Pullover; danger and stress becomes easier when it is in front of you.

So your ego and your self righteousness is telling you to not give in. You want to maintain your sense of self respect; you start to feel anger and malice. You may even in consider driving slower just to spite them. Well quite literally; stop this thinking this way. Instead, consider turning down your rear view mirror. If your wing mirrors are adjustable; then turn them down too. If they are not adjustable; open the window and pull in the wing mirror on the drivers side. This way you can concentrate on the road ahead; without seeing movement in your peripheral vision by way of the mirrors.

If the driver behind you seems aggressive or just too close then consider pulling over when it is safe to do so. If there are no laybys; when you are on a straight stretch of road, indicate to the nearside and pull to the side. This way the driver behind you can safely pass. Trust me, with the danger in front of you; you will soon feel relaxed again.

9. Safe space

Imagine the distance between you and the vehicle in front belongs to you. Simply by slowing down and maintaining a gap; gives you more time to deal with hazards. Remember the old adage: “only a fool breaks the two second rule”. Wait for the car in front to pass a marker; then count two seconds. If you pass the same marker before two seconds you are too close.

Can you see the car in front?

The more space and time you give yourself to react to hazards; not only makes you safer but more relaxed. From seeing traffic slowing up ahead to sudden braking; by creating a safe space, you are giving yourself time to think and when you do not have to think quickly, you will only be relaxed.

10. Feeling tired, upset, unwell, under the influence, going blind?

Would you walk a tightrope whilst drunk? Would you try running whilst tired? Would you chop vegetables whilst crying so much you cannot see? Would you go to work feeling so weak and unwell you cannot even stand up? Would you speed along a motorway in thick fog?

Go to bed not the car!

Well why get in a car whilst feeling this way? A car does not look like a knife; yet it can kill just as well. Treat driving as a privilege and not a right. Yes you have passed the test and paid for a car; yet that does not mean your need to drive is more important than anyone else. If you do not feel well for any reason; do not drive. If anyone is pressurising you to drive; then tell them to catch the bus and then say goodbye, for you do not need these people in your life.

Therefore, most of us need to drive to work and other commitments that we put upon ourselves. Yet never let driving be a source of stress. You cannot control other drivers; yet by anticipating and being prepared we can allow for mistakes.

Ideally, to be completely relaxed; try to aim for a life without need of a motor car. Tibetan monks, Eskimo, Namibian herdsmen; it is possible to live a complete and satisfying life without the wheel!

Drive safe, drive with care, drive to relax.

Turn Blue Monday into True Monday!

The third Monday in January is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year! Let me explain why it is actually the most exciting third Monday in January! “Blue is the colour of the skyIn the mornin’, when we riseIn the mornin’, when we riseThat’s the time, that’s the timeI love the best…” […]

Berghaus ‘Expeditor Ridge 2.0’ walking boots review

A long term review of a comfortable but sturdy boot from Berghaus; the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 A reputation built on miles of family walks My parents and then my siblings and I; have been keen walkers for the last fifty years. From: Sunday walks; to autumn half term breaks in the Lake District; to […]

Food to Relax

‘You are what you eat’ as the saying goes; so if you want to eat and relax, then check out these ten foods that can help.

Believe it or not; our moods, feelings and ability to stay calm are all affected by the food that we consume. There are times when you need more calories and sugars to be able to complete a long bike ride or keep warm on a cold day. Yet by giving a little consideration to our food; our bodies will take care of the rest. Personally, I try to stay relaxed all day long even when working hard. So I have researched and now eat food to relax.

Please bear in mind I am not a qualified nutritionist; just a guy who has read and researched the subject. Neither am I mother hen; so go forth and find your own food in your own good time. The food items listed below are all inexpensive and healthy; so please consider them if you are not already doing so, bon appetit:

1. Apple

There is an old saying that goes: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

Apple jack!

Well an apple can also keep stress away too because of naturally occurring chemicals. These chemicals would normally help the apple survive harsh weather and attacks from insects and birds. These same chemicals have an anti-depressant effect on humans; as well as slowly releasing energy to keep your spirits up. Apples are also a good source of potassium; which helps your nervous system.

2. Bananas

Monkeys always seem happy and maybe that is because they eat lots of bananas!


Bananas are good food in so many ways! First they are high in natural sugar that will keep you focused and not grumpy. They are high in potassium too; so will help the nerves. They also contain Vitamin B6 and tryptophan; which convert to serotonin in the human body. With serotonin being the chemical that is thought to regulate mood.

3. Lemon

Don’t be bitter; have a lemon! Well you can mix lemon juice with water and it goes down easy!

Don’t be a lemon; use them in your diet!

For a start, a lemon contains high levels of Vitamin C; which will improve your immune system and stop you feeling low in the first place. If you do become stressed your body will produce a chemical called: Cortisol. Cortisol is produced to increase energy levels so you can deal with a stressful situation. For example: running away from a dangerous animal. However, too much Cortisol in your body will cause you to feel irritable. The Vitamin C in lemon will suppress the release of Cortisol.

4. Honey

Honey is a sweet healthy treat! On toast, or porridge, in coffee or tea; try and get honey into your diet every day.

Sweet as honey!

Honey contains very high levels of tryptophan; that amino acid that turns into serotonin to make you feel happy and melatonin to help you feel relaxed. Personally I put a spoonful in my morning coffee. Yet you can try it with many foods anytime of day. If you forget; have a spoonful but no double dipping!

5. Eggs

Don’t become ‘eggacerbated’; become ‘eggstra’ relaxed eating eggs.


By eating eggs in the morning; you feel more full because of their high protein content. This means hunger pains will not affect your daily activities. On top of this eggs contain a chemical called: Choline. This chemical is essential for the body to produce another chemical called: Acetylcholine; which regulates parts of the brain that deal with stress and mood. It does not stop there; eggs are also high in Vitamin D which helps deal with anxiety and depression.

6. Porridge or Oatmeal

Be as stoic as a Quaker by eating porridge for breakfast or maybe later!

You will never quake with porridge inside you!

Porridge or Oatmeal in American; is a simple yet stress busting meal anytime of the day. For a start, it is warm and soothing; especially when made with milk. Then with milk it is a great source of tryptophan; remember, that chemical that converts into serotonin to help regulate moods. In addition, oatmeal is a great source of melatonin; which help us to relax and sleep. Furthermore, oats are high in calcium and magnesium; two minerals that help the body to function, repair and relax!

Top tip: If you are running late and do not have time to make porridge; try preparing flapjacks the night before.

7. Celery

Hippocrates, the Greek doctor dude from 2,000 years ago; said that one should eat celery to calm the nerves!

Yes, that often over looked vegetable celery; is a great secret weapon to relax. Studies have shown that eating celery can lower blood pressure in the body. In addition, celery can help create white blood cells; which help fight off disease and infections. Celery also contains a natural chemical called: Phthalides. This chemical helps the liver detoxify the blood; thus improving blood flow to the brain and nervous system.

Top tip: to get the most out of celery; it is best eaten raw because many of its benefits are lost in the cooking process. So, chewing on a few sticks with a sprinkling of sea salt; is a great way to relax and build an appetite before a healthy meal.

8. Oily tinned fish: mackerel, sardines, salmon, anchovies…

Have a fishy on your dishy and feel all warm, relaxed and squishy!

Always look for the high in Omega-3 label

Love or hate them; oily tinned fish are a frugal and fantastically healthy meal. Eat them cold straight out the tin; on toast, in a salad, or even a paella, yet just eat them! Why? Well they are rich in a good polyunsaturated fatty acid called: Omega-3. This acid has been proven to reduce inflammation of the blood system and reduce the risk of heart disease. So like a rocket ship on high octane fuel; we will be operating on full power throughout the day. Then if we have had a good day; we are more likely to stay relaxed and happy as well. Studies have also found that patients suffering from anxiety and depression have very low levels of Omega-3.

Top tip: aim to have oily fish at least twice a week.

9. Cherries

Live life, eat, drink, sleep, breathe, laugh and cry, learn, turn, run and relax; do more, yet always do it with a cherry on top!

Eat cherries as often as possible and stay merry!

Chelan cherries ready for a smoothie:P

These little red beauties are an amazing present from mother nature. For a start, they are one of the few sources of melatonin; the chemical that regulates are body clock and enables us to get a goods nights sleep! Studies have shown that by eating cherries or drinking cherry juice on a daily basis; improves the length and quality of your sleep. So if you are sleeping well you will be well awake too!
Also, they are a great source of: Vitamins B and C, potassium, copper and manganese! Which all help our blood and nervous systems.
Wow, so much in such a little package!

Top tip: try to eat raw dark cherries instead of sweet glazed cherries

10. Turmeric

This nice spice comes from a flowering plant in the ginger family. Normally sprinkled over a curry to give it flavour and colour; it also gives you a whole lot more!

Used in Asian cuisine since time immemorial; turmeric is one of mother natures natural medicines. Turmeric contains a compound chemical called: Curcumin; which is proven to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. With antioxidant meaning it reduces the risk of infections as well as ageing! Anti-inflammatory meaning it helps the body deal with harmful stimuli.

In addition, studies have shown that Curcumin is a natural anti-depressant. With one study even showing that it is effective as Prozac! Adrian Lorpresti of Murdoch University, Australia; states that: Curcumin improves pathways in the brain that deal with anxiety and depression. It also reduces stress hormones; such as: cortisol.

However, there have been reports that turmeric can contain high levels of lead. This is because the regions where it is grown in Bangladesh; are susceptible to heavy rain. This heavy rain causes Turmeric to lose its bright colour; which detracts from its use to colour food. So yes, in this crazy world; some people are risking lead poisoning for the sake of pretty colourful food!

Top tip: always use pepper with turmeric; because compounds in pepper enable you to get the best out of turmeric. Also to get the real benefits of turmeric try taking a Curcumin supplement; as a little sprinkle on your midweek curry will not be enough to enjoy its benefits.

So there you have it; get in the kitchen and get cooking. Do not take my word for it; do your own research and enjoy what you eat. Eat well and eat to be healthy, happy and relaxed.

Subscribe and look out for upcoming blogs; packed with more food and drinks to keep you on a route to relax.

  • Breathe

    30th October 2019 by

    “Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.” — Gregory Maguire. This is the first post on my new blog. It is also the most basic, easiest and quickest way to relax. If you read only one of my blogs, if you remember only one thing, only one word; then let “breathe”… Read more

  • Turn Blue Monday into True Monday!

    16th January 2021 by

    The third Monday in January is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year! Let me explain why it is actually the most exciting third Monday in January! “Blue is the colour of the skyIn the mornin’, when we riseIn the mornin’, when we riseThat’s the time, that’s the timeI love the best…”… Read more

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    12th January 2021 by

    A long term review of a comfortable but sturdy boot from Berghaus; the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 A reputation built on miles of family walks My parents and then my siblings and I; have been keen walkers for the last fifty years. From: Sunday walks; to autumn half term breaks in the Lake District; to… Read more

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Happy feet not cold feet

A summary of footwear options for the winter cyclist; with a review of Northwave GTX mountain bike boots

Being able to stay warm on a cold day is so important for our well-being. In extreme situations, we can damage our extremities or weaken our immune system; which open us up to all kinds of infections. In addition, every time we feel too cold or hot; we become irritable and unable to relax. Our skin and blood system is working overtime to try and maintain a normal body temperature. Which in turn causes us to lose focus on other activities and not enjoy our day. By helping our body temperature with the right amount of clothing; we are able to relax and stay happy and comfortable. Here I look at the options to keep your happy feet warm and dry on a winters day; whilst trying to keep fit and ride a route to relax:

Option 1: Wear your normal trainers and hope for the best!

You are just getting into cycling and cannot afford anything more than the trainers you already have? Well they will work great on a short ride when there is no chance of rain.

My UK trainers are made by Karrimor and cost just £30 from

If the trainers are big enough, try wearing a thick pair of socks. Ideally try to wear wool socks; as this natural material keeps your warm by trapping air within its thick fibres. Cotton is better than synthetic materials like polyester and nylon; yet it stills holds a lot more moisture and sweat than wool, lowering the thermal energy in your toes.

In addition, wool has natural anti-microbial characteristics meaning less toe jam! That yucky stuff between your toes; made up of: dead skin, sweat, bacteria and dirt! However, trainers are normally made from synthetic materials so the benefits of wool will be reduced by the fact that you are still wearing trainers!

Option 1 and a 1/2: Add a plastic bag!

Make your frugal footwear choice waterproof by simply adding plastic bags!
Yes you will stop the rain getting in; but just think of the rain forest effect going on inside those trainers!

Happy feet?

I have tried this myself and trust me when I say you will regret it! As the sweat builds with nowhere to escape; you feel like you are swimming and not cycling! Then just wait until you take them off! Oh and take them off outside or you will have one unhappy household!

Option 3: A leather shoe or walking boot

When I first started cycling; I was a jobless teenager. Back then I would use hiking boots or rugby boots with the studs removed! Not stylish but very warm and if I got a puncture; at least I could walk home!

My Alt-Berg boots: comfortable handmade leather boots that designed for hiking.

This is the most sensible option if you cannot afford or just do not want to buy cycling specific shoes. You might get disparaging looks from the lycra clad weekend warriors for not being in their expensively branded clique but do you care? No, your feet and your quietly confident ego; are warm, comfortable and relaxed.

Option 4: Summer cycling shoes

Now this is where cycling can get expensive but then what price do you put on your health? These £80; Northwave Origin MTB shoes have really improved my cycling experience.

My Northwave Origin 2019 MTB shoes

Shoes designed specifically for cycling; are really worth their price tag. For a start they have a stiff sole so all your energy is transferred to the pedal. Shoes for road cycling are flat on the bottom so are very difficult to walk in; yet MTB shoes have raised tread to enable you to walk. A lot safer; especially in those slippery places, e.g. bike cafe loos! In addition, these shoes have vents on the upper and quarter panels. Great for keeping cool in summer yet in winter not so good! Venting cuts down on sweat evapoaration but does not prevent the ingress of that November rain.

Option 4 and a 1/4: Overshoes?!

As the name suggests; you put these on ‘over your shoes’ and secure them with velcro or a zip. They look stylish and space age; yet are flawed in their design.

Neoprene overshoes from ProBikeKit.com

More commonly used in road cycling; these overshoes in my opinion will help, yet there are better alternatives out there. Personally I have not used them for a number of years for a number of reasons. For a start, they have two big holes on the sole for the cleat and the heel of your shoe. These two big holes also let in water and the cold. Every time you put your foot down or engage into the pedal clip; you wear the fabric on the sole. Within a year they will be worn and torn so badly you will have to buy another pair. Costing over £20 for a decent pair; this is an expensive habit! Finally, if they don’t rip on the sole; the zip will surely rust and snap. Did I mention that because they are supposed to be tight fitting; they are also difficult to put over your shoe.

Try them once so you can at least warn others too!

That zip can break when you most need it!
Look at the size of those holes!

Option 4 and a 1/2: Waterproof socks!

A recent development are socks lined with a man made wicking but waterproof material. I have not owned a pair myself; yet my father swears by them.

Look at the sock not the shoe, haha!

Some complain that the sock is too thick and inflexible; yet we are all different, so research and the choice is yours! Various materials are used such as Gore-Tex; with varying prices and quality. Looking on Amazon; these Sealskinz socks are currently priced at between £27 and £40.

Option 5: Gore-Tex MTB boots

Here we have my final option and my own personal choice. When it is cold and raining and you are riding through the great outdoors; this is how to keep your feet happy and relaxed!

My Northwave Gore-Tex MTB boots give me happy feet!

After trying options one to four; I was getting cold feet every time I tried to go out on my bike and relax. Reading reviews I decided on a pair of Gore-Tex lined boots made by the Italian ski and bike outfitters: Northwave. Although they cost me £140 about five years ago; they have been worth every penny.

For a start, they show no signs of wear; unlike those aforementioned overshoes. The Gore-Tex lining keeps my happy feet warm and dry even on long rides in sub zero temperatures. The added ankle support, also extends the warmth up the leg; and stops water and dirt from entering the boot. The inner sole and lining is cushioned and comfortable. The boot is large in comparison to a trainer yet they do not give me the feeling that I am in clumsy clown shoes. The build quality is fantastic; with real thought going into the design and ergonomics. I could go on and on prasing these boots; yet this is a blog and not Wikipedia!

Since I bought my boots about five years ago; the design has changed from Velcro tabs to a wire on a ratchet. Whilst I am dubious of the longevity of the ratchet system over simple Velcro tabs; I am sure Northwave have used quality parts and researched and tested their products.

I am more likely to lose these boots than they wear out. Yet if they do; I will have no hesitation buying Northwave MTB boots again.

For fun, check out my: short review and waterproofing video; which you will find below on YouTube.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay out there until you are happy and above all stay relaxed; cheers.

Breathing techniques to relax

While we breathe, we will hope.”
– Barack Obama

Following on from my first post; I thought it would be great to highlight breathing techniques in order to relax.

All you need is your lungs and a few moments to focus on your chosen technique. You do not have to be in a relaxing environment. For in a way, it is good to test your superpowers to relax; anywhere in this sometime restless world.

Try these techniques anywhere to see how they work for you:

1. Diaphragmatic breathing. Also known as abdominal or belly breathing.
This is one of the most beneficial breathing techniques. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure; as well as increasing strength in your diaphragm and stamina for exercise. Importantly, it can reduce symptoms of many stress and anxiety disorders.

How to breathe to do diaphragmatic breathing:
– Try to sit or lay down and loosen tight clothes.
– Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
– Breathe in through your nose whilst feeling your stomach expand; as your chest stays still.
– Purse your lips, whilst gently pressing on your stomach. Now exhale slowly through the mouth.
– Repeat several times for best effect.

Breathing is part of your automatic nervous system; which controls several functions such as blood pressure without you needing to think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response is also controlled by this nervous system; so by breathing deeply you can easily deal with issues and then return to a relaxed state.

2. Breathe Focus Technique
This involves using a keyword of your choosing; whilst you focus on your breathing to help you relax.

How to:
– Sit or lie down in a comfortable place.
– Without changing your breathing become aware of your breath both in and out. Now alternate between normal and deeper breathing and notice how this affects you. Then begin deep diaphragmatic breathing.
– Place a hand on your belly button and notice how it rises and falls with each breath. With every exhale; let out a sigh.
– Now combine your deep breathing with imagery and keywords that will help you relax.
– Imagine each new breath in brings more calm and happy thoughts. Your world and your body is becoming more and more relaxed.
– Then each time you exhale; imagine: all your strains and stresses are leaving your body.

Try to do this for at least twenty minutes if you can keep track of time!

3. Alternate nostril breathing
This technique is for relaxation; yet it has been known to enhance cardiovascular function and lower heart rate.

Obviously, you will need the use of both nostrils; so avoid if you are congested or ill. Also it is best practised on a empty stomach.

How to:
– Sit or lie down.
– Raise your hand to your face and after exhaling place your thumb over your right nostril.
– After you have breathed in through your left nostril; close your left nostril with your forefinger and breathe out through your right nostril.
– Continue doing this for at least five minutes.

4. Equal Breathing
This means making the length of each inhale and exhale of breath the same length. This will help make your breathing smoother and hopefully make you more balanced and relaxed.

How to
– Find a comfortable seat; and begin by gently breathing in and out through your nostrils.
– When you have relaxed and began focusing on your breathing; make each inhale and exhale the same length by counting in your head. Count to what ever number is comfortable for you.
– If you prefer, you can pause between each inhale and exhale.

So there are a few techniques, I have learned myself; which I try to include in my daily routine. Read up on the subject yourself; try what suits you. Enjoy relaxation techniques and do not worry too much about following techniques too closely.
The most important thing is to relax.



Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”

— Gregory Maguire.

This is the first post on my new blog. It is also the most basic, easiest and quickest way to relax. If you read only one of my blogs, if you remember only one thing, only one word; then let “breathe” be it.

Yes we are breathing all the time without needing to think about it. Yet do you know that for most day to day activities; we are only using about 20% of our lung capacity. Which means any sudden shock or threat may feel a lot worse; simply because your brain and nervous system does not have enough oxygen. Your heart rate increases and things can get worse and worse!

Yet remember to breathe and breathe deep and everything seems to magically seem better. You do not have to be in the safety of your bed or favourite chair; you can do it commuting to work, waiting in a stressful queue, or dealing with others who are using all their breath to berate you.

Personally, I breathe in through my nostrils until they start to tingle and my chest stops filling against my diaphragm; whilst letting thoughts cross my mind. Then as I breathe out through my nose; those same thoughts now seem only to be good and calm.

Yet, I am not medically trained professional; for safe advice, here is a link to the website of the English health service: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

The mission of this website is not for me to make money and massage a deluded and vain ego. It is to help others as well as myself. Yes, everything on this website is for me if no one else; simply in order to relax.

I hope you remember everyday in every way; to breathe deep and relax.