Take it Easy - Breathe Deep

February 2010

With Australian drivers making 61% of their accident claims during the peak hour periods, low cost car insurance provider Budget Direct is encouraging motorists to ‘breathe deep’.

Budget Direct spokesperson Richelle Ward said being caught in traffic congestion can send stress levels soaring and that can contribute to minor accidents and bouts of road rage – something we could all do without.

“Drivers can lose their cool pretty quickly when stuck in traffic and there are simple things motorists can do safely in their car to help reduce stress, anxiety and other negative emotions,” Ms Ward said.

“While we can’t avoid all stressful situations during our busy days, being able to counteract its negative effects is certainly beneficial where driving is concerned and reducing the number of accidents on our roads is a priority for all road users.”

With this in mind, Budget Direct set out to find some powerful, yet simple, relaxation techniques that can be done safely in the car to help relax and take the focus off a stressful traffic situation.

1. Sit comfortably with your back straight. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles.

Continue this breathing pattern and try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.

2. Progressive muscle relaxation is another effective strategy for stress relief. It involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body.

Shift your attention to a muscle group like neck and shoulders and slowly tense the muscles, squeezing as tightly as you can for a count of 10 seconds.

Relax the muscle group and focus on the tension flowing away and how the muscle group feels as it becomes limp.

When you’re ready, move slowly through the body – back, arms, abdomen and legs – contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.

3. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and relaxes the whole body. In fact, a good hearty laugh can relieve physical tension and stress for up to 45 minutes after.

It can also boost the immune system and trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical. So instead of listening to the radio or music CDs – why not try listening to your favourite comedian.

This material is for information purposes only.

About Budget Direct

Budget Direct is a cheap car insurance provider that offers competitive car insurance to drivers in Australia. Budget Direct is a wholly owned Australian insurance provider and is part of the international Budget Insurance group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The Budget Insurance group of companies administers more than 3 million policies and $1 billion in premium. Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd underwrites Budget Direct’s policies.

Car Insurance - Cut the cost not the cover

For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or mediaenquiries@budgetdirect.com.au

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.