Just relax

There will be nothing in this letter you didn't already hear, but you're still tensed up, aren't you?

Posted on March 02, 2023

It's always curious to see some advice being universal, and members of wildly different disciplines coming to the same conclusion. A simple one of these is telling you to "relax", at times when you're in a stressful situation or otherwise feeling tense. Banal it is, it's actually good advice. It's great advice, and I have to routinely remind myself to follow it. Magically, things become easier, the world more forgiving, people kinder, if you just keep to it.

Important job interview? Relax.

Learning to dance but can't tell your left foot from the right one? Relax.

First date with a special someone? Really, just relax.

Neck and shoulder pain from sitting in front of a computer? You should get up and relax your muscles.

Giving a public speech in front of a large audience? There's this school of thought that you should imagine them naked. I don't subscribe to this, since firstly, then you waste some brainpower on carefully examining each person and establishing a mental image of them without clothes. Secondly, this might cause your thoughts to wander to more pleasant pastures, at a time when you must keep focus. Also, I don't see giving a talk in a room full of butt-naked people would be any less daunting. So, I'd suggest relaxing instead.

Planning to overthrow the government and establish a military junta based on open-source principles? Honestly, I can't relate, but relaxing is perhaps part of the best course of action.

Feeling upset that you wasted 1m 3s on reading trivialities? Gentle reader, please relax.

Illustration: Midjourney prompt "Person relaxing in a hammock with 1000 unread emails. --aspect 3:1"