Welcome to Keep Calm and Relax.This website was inspired by the profound and insightful wisdom of courageous people throughout the ages. Historically events and circumstances that can cause us stress, have remained surprisingly unchanged. These words are my interpretation of how the inspirational philosophy of yesterday can be a positive influence on how we cope with tomorrow. I have woven my thoughts on coping with difficult times and how to survive them around the wise and wonderful words of great men and women.

Do get in touch if you agree or disagree with anything I have to say. I don't have answers just my thoughts and the thoughts of wise men and women that might just make you think differently.

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All that we can be

Stress makes us believe that sorrow will never end but to the wonder of all and seemingly by a law divine, things change, nothing not even the deepest melancholy lasts forever, and that is when you realise that times of trouble can be like a rain storm, on an otherwise summers day everything seems brighter and more colourful once it has passed.  Ostler wrote “Everywhere the old order changes, and happy those who change with it”.

We are constantly making decisions and choices based on experience, and that leads us to dwell on how it is, instead of focussing on how it can be. Changing anything is characteristically uncertain; it generates conflict and divides opinion, changing things requires energy, motivation and support. Therefore resistance to change is natural and inevitable.

Even if you haven’t the will to change things, change will happen, even in the coldest winter of your deepest despair, the snow will melt and spring will appear, and whenever we overcome adversity learning takes place, we grow a little. Life becomes bearable again, we have learnt how to cope and we will be able to move forward.

 “The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Toffler 2001



There is a line in a song that goes:  ‘Do the tigers come at night and rip your house to shreds’, it seems so appropriate to describe what I call those sleepless nights that follow the busiest day but don’t bring rest. Just when you want it all to switch off, for your mind to be empty and calm, and you are slipping into the stillness of that inky place, that always precedes the darkness of sleep, the tigers will come.

Our lives are determined by rhythms and rituals, we are programmed from an early age that once settled into the comfort of our bed, sleep will come as naturally as nightfall. Sleep is healing and restorative, but it is also a respite we take for granted, and when even the brightest day seems like a dark place, we welcome the losing of the light as the night wins. Virgil wrote “It is the time when first sleep begins for weary mortals and by the gifts of the gods creeps over them most welcomely”.

Chamfort believed that ‘living is an illness to which sleep provides relief’, which seems a little extreme but for minds full of torment perhaps he wasn’t too far off the mark. For sleeplessness certainly leads to illness and generates an inability to cope, which becomes a self perpetuating cycle.

So use every means available to you to bring about that state of dreamless un-invaded sleep, and as you let go and feel your senses pass into forgetfulness, the cares of the day will silently slip away.


A bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health and quiet breathing”. Keats.



There is nothing holds back happiness like a life lived with regret. T.S. Eliot wrote ‘Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened’.

Have you lived the life you imagined, have you realised your dreams? Did you try, even if you failed, or between the idea and the reality did the shadow of uncertainty fall and your courage fail?

Darwin believed that ‘A fool is a man who has never tried an experiment in his life’. It is not inevitable that we lose sight of the life we wanted in living. So whatever stage of your life you are at don’t let it be marked by a dream that is dying but by one that is being born.

It is never too late to begin again, to reinvent yourself, think of every venture as a new beginning, something you try may change your life for the better. After all, if you are at the bottom you have nowhere to fall but off, and that is just one flick of the switch to being back on again.

    "We are the music makers; we are the dreamers of dreams. We are the movers and shakers of the world forever it seems."Arthur O'Shaughnessy



At this time of year as Valentines Day approaches once again, all focus is on love.

This one day of the year can bring loneliness into sharper focus than any other day of the year. Like Christmas it is closely associated with togetherness and whilst it can unite people in love it isolates those who have no one to celebrate it with.

Plato wrote ‘love is a grave mental disease’ and those who have ever experienced being ‘in love’ certainly describe that feeling of madness that shuts out the rest of the world. It becomes all consuming, controlling every ounce of our being and every second of our lives. It takes on a magical quality having the power to alter people and direct lives.

Love is the narrative thread not only in novels, but in life, it produces possibilities and is an agent for change.

If you are single on Valentines Day and wish you weren’t, the temptation to wrap your self up in misery and hide away must be banished, that way lays loneliness.

Not being in love is not important, what is important is that one is capable of love. So as Auden said ‘In the deserts of the heart, let the healing fountain start’. If you are open to love there is more truth than nonsense in the idea that if you live the life you have imagined it will become reality. People in love give off a palpable air of happiness which is infectious - try to copy them even if you fake it, get out there and have fun. It does not have to be a nightclub or a trendy bar, though they are fertile ground, but often when your expectations are at there lowest love will find you. Wordsworth wrote ‘Love can be found in huts where poor men lie’ so explore every avenue.



There is an old Swedish proverb that says ‘Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow’.  I do not think it an exaggeration to consider worry as a greater master of the human mind than courage and ambition, and it can destroy both.

Each life is marked by its own set of disasters, great or small, some life changing, some just annoying, therefore worrying about disaster is unavoidable. However when you live your life anticipating misfortune, most of which never happens, then worry can become obsessive.

Being in a constant state of worry is a bit like grief - it is exhausting and all-consuming, blocking out light and repelling happiness.

The constant state of tension within which the mind and body are held, can cause actual physical symptoms and allow depression to take hold. So if this is you, put up the barricades now, use all your powers of distraction, determine that this is the year you don’t sweat the small stuff.


What we anticipate rarely occurs, and what we least expect generally happens, if you are a compulsive worrier the least expected is often happier days.