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Box breathing can reduce your anxiety

This is a simple technique that helps with anxiety and can be done while sitting quietly in the car. It’s called Square or Box Breathing. Simply control your breathing by breathing in for the count of 4, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for the count of 4, hold for 4 seconds and repeat for 4 to 6 cycles.

This is a great way to reduce anxiety by lowering the heart rate by working with the Vagus Nerve.

This is used by some law enforcement and military units during high pressure situations. If it’s good enough for them, you might want to give it a go too.


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Facing a little of my own anxiety, but doing it anyway.

At the end of March I went back to my beloved open water swimming for the first time since contracting Covid. It felt wonderful to be back in the water. I’ve missed it so much.

What has this got to do with driving? Well, nothing except I can honestly say I felt more anxious than I thought I would getting into the cold water after nearly 3 weeks since my last swim, solo and after being ill and quite shattered with Omicrap!

None of my swim buddies were free so I chose to go to a lake that is life guarded and I always have a tow float. I spoke with the lifeguard and explained my situation. He fully understood and advised I shouldn’t go further than the fountain, 100m in. It was a little foggy so he wanted me in his sight.

Easing in I felt my heart beating stronger than usual so practiced as I preach and steadied my breathing with slow deep belly breaths. Then, straight from the advice from Mel Robbins, I said out loud ‘5-4-3-2-1, I’m excited!!’ (This helps to trick the brain into feeling excited instead of anxious. It's called Reframing.) Then I was swimming gently.

I focused on the next escape rout and then the next. In the end I managed the 400m I’d wanted to do but in bite size baby steps knowing I had someone watching me and I could get out sooner if I really had to. Doing the 200m length in one go, then back would have been too much on that day, but achieving the same distance in broken down steps was very achievable and left me wanting to do more again next week.

Though I’m used to doing more, it’s ok to take a step back, re-gather yourself and celebrate the achievement of the day. Log it, and move on.

Driving is no different. There will be good days when you can achieve a lot and others when you can’t. Just do something 🙏👍

It’s surprising how quickly you can reduce driving anxiety by taking one step at a time and regularly repeating the same exercise. I have helped many people do the same.
If you would like help with your driving, give me a call on 07889 186100 or email

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