HOW TO CALM DRIVING TEST NERVES
We all suffer with nerves from time to time; however a driving test is probably one of those times when your nerves may affect you more than usual. If you’re feeling anxious about your test, or even nervous about driving lessons, below you’ll find some helpful tips on how to stay calm and stop your nerves jeopardising your chances of a first time pass.
This may be an obvious tip, however the more you are in the car driving, learning and practising your manoeuvres and gaining experience, the less likely you are to make a mistake on the big day.
If there is a particular manoeuvre, or area you are unsure with, make sure that leading up to your test you perfect it with your instructor. You could also head out with a family member, or friend to help practice, however try not to pick up any bad habits from the experienced driver next to you.
A person’s diet can have a huge affect on their stress levels and interestingly, there are also many foods that can radically reduce anxiety. Almonds, for example contain the nutrient Zinc, this is key for maintaining a balanced mood and will also keep hunger at bay during your test, whilst porridge with blueberries are filled with antioxidants that are said to be extremely beneficial for relieving stress.
Bananas are great for stopping hunger pangs, but also contain a source of tryptophan which the human body converts into serotonin – the happy hormone. Dark chocolate is also great for this too, however if you don’t fancy filling up on food before your important drive, why not distract your nerves with a mint, or chewing gum instead.
Drinks are also important for anxiety levels and tea and coffee in particular are not recommended before your test, due to their high caffeine levels. Instead why not try a herbal tea, such as camomile, peppermint or barley?
As well as ensuring a good night’s sleep, plenty of practice and a healthy breakfast, when it comes to the moment when you step into the car, make sure you take time to breathe and create a safe environment around you. Open the window a little for some fresh air, check your seat so that you’re not hunched or cramped and double check your mirrors are in the correct position. You’re in no rush to get started so start everything in your own time and put yourself in full control.
Don’t be afraid of it. Your instructor may have been chatty on your lessons, talking you through manoeuvres and giving advice, but when it comes to your test you may experience a long period of silence other than simple navigation instructions. Learn to accept this and instead use it to your advantage so you can focus your full concentration on the road ahead.
DON’T TELL EVERYONE
Try not to tell everyone you know that you have a test coming up. Instead, limit the news to close friends and family as the more people that know, the more anxious you will be for the end result.
If you feel you have made a mistake on the day, don’t panic! You may feel it was a huge mistake, but your examiner might think differently. Don’t let it affect your drive ahead and try to relax. Some learners have even admitted that after thinking they had failed with a mistake, they relaxed more and enjoyed the drive, only to be told at the end that had in fact passed.