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more Driving Test Nerves I have a problem?

As the test day approaches ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I feel nervous?
  • Do I experience self-doubt?
  • Do I get butterflies in my stomach?
  • Do I fear underperformance?
  • Does my body tense up?
  • Do I feel prepared?
  • Do I feel relaxed in mind and body?
  • Do I feel up for it?
  • Do I need the toilet?
  • Do I enjoy the challenge?

When you answer these questions, ask yourself why you have answered it in that way and why you fell that way. If the answer is a negative, think about how you can change it, what you can do to prevent it in the future. Write out a list of positive and negative thought about your driving, as this will help you recognise areas of perceived personal weakness that need working on.

There are many techniques/remedies that claim to ease nerves and anxiety. From herbal remedies such as Kalms tablets to psychological techniques such as visualization and even hypnosis. Does any of this work? Well maybe. I myself have no first hand or even second hand experience that any of them do work so I won't be recommending any.

One technique I can recommend however is 4-7-8 breathing. Breathing correctly can have a profound effect on the way you feel. It is widely considered to be the most effective and time efficient relaxation method that exists.

The standard breathing relaxation method recommended for your natural breathing pattern is

  1. breathe into your diaphragm, (the bottom of your stomach), not shallow chest breathing
  2. inhale through the nose
  3. exhale through the mouth
  4. take longer to exhale than to inhale
  5. slow your breathing down (less breaths-per-minute)

4-7-8 breathing simply adds

  1. begin by slowly breathing in through your nose for a count of 4.
  2. Hold the breath for a count of 7.
  3. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. When you exhale, try to make a soft whoosh sound by holding the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth (or lightly clench your teeth) as you exhale slowly.
  4. Repeat this process for three more times (for a total of four breaths.) Do not do more than four breaths at first - with practice, you can work your way up to eight breaths. Do this twice each day.

4-7-8 breathing shouldn't be your naturally breathing pattern but should be used to calm nerves and find a more relaxed state of mind at or before times of increased anxiety.