Driving test nerves stressing you out? Well don’t worry you aren’t alone. It is common to feel a certain amount of stress or anxiety leading up to your driving test. This is the moment all of your driving lessons have been building up to. What if I forget what I’ve learnt, what if I panic. All sorts of things can run through your mind, especially on the day of your driving test.
In this post I’ve listed my five best tips for dealing with driving test nerves. Some of them may not work for you personally but all of these are proven techniques that are simple to implement and have really helped people to deal with driving test stress. All of the techniques below are intended to give you a different focus that will distract you from the negative thoughts running through your mind.
Breathing exercises are an extremely effective way of calming yourself down if you are feeling anxious. Take slow deep breaths and focus on breathing deep down in your belly instead of from your chest. Inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth. As you do this try to clear your mind of any negative thoughts and just focus on your breathing. By slowing your breathing you will also actively lower your heart rate which also instils a feeling of calm. Buddhists use breathing techniques like this during their meditations and they’re some of the most chilled out and calm people you will ever meet.
Another neat little tip for instant relief from driving test nerves is to get yourself a stress ball. Any type of firm foam ball that fits nicely in the palm of your hand will do the trick. You can also get specially made stress balls that have squishy gel inside of a rubber outer layer. Whichever one you choose just keep squeezing it in your hand whenever you are feeling anxious. Toy shops, gadget shops, pound stores and pet shops are all good places to pick up a stress ball.
Most of us have a certain type of music or a particular song that relaxes us and helps us to chill out. Stick this song on your MP3 player and listen to it whenever you are feeling a bit worked up. Perhaps imagine you are somewhere else as you listen. Lying on a sandy beach, having a picnic on a sunny day, whatever makes you feel relaxed and happy.
This stress relief technique is a little more unorthodox but it can really help some people. If you are in a stressful situation or are thinking about one that you are going to face try imagining yourself looking at the scene from the eyes of another person. Pretend that you are looking over your shoulder, or looking down on the scene from above. You can also try taking away colour and imagining the scene in black and white. By removing yourself from the situation in this way it can help you to detach your emotions, making it seem much less daunting.
By the time you take your driving test you will have a really good relationship with your driving instructor (or at least we hope you will!). Having them sit in the back of the car while you take your test can be a great way to reduce your driving test nerves. Many of our pupils have found this to be very beneficial to them.
So if you find that you are getting the driving test jitters give some of these a techniques a try. Let us know if any of these work for you in the comments below and we’d love to hear about any stress coping techniques that you have found useful.