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Anxious about learning to drive?

Don’t worry you are not alone many students are nervous or anxious about learning to drive.

 As with all nerves and anxiety issues there are ways to overcome the fears.

Whether you’re nervous about learning to drive, anxious about driving or are just looking for coping methods to help manage stress you experience behind the wheel we hope to help. These tips should help you to feel cool, calm and collected on your next drive.

Pick a driving instructor you feel comfortable with

Consider using an approved driving instructor rather than a friend or family member (although this may seem like a good idea at the time), an instructor is a professional who is trained, building a rapport with the instructor will help to put you at ease and help calm your nervous, especially if you are nervous about driving.
An intensive course may be ideal, as sometimes an hour a week is not enough time to settle in to your lesson, the build up between lessons or the long waiting time for test could result in unnecessary worrying whereas an intensive course could help you learn more efficiently and alleviate these fears.
Think about what type of instructor will suit you best, would you prefer a female, automatic, a chatty instructor or a quiet one?

Be honest

Discuss with your instructor how you feel and at what pace  you wish to progress, do you want to cover something again, would you like the instructor to demonstrate, voice any concerns. It helps to have a good relationship with the instructor If not then you should either discuss this or change instructors! Although unlikely in most cases but if the anxiety is too severe or becomes a phobia of driving it could be time to consult a doctor and you must inform DVLA if it affects your ability to drive.
Do not compare yourself with others learning to drive – we all learn at different rates and it is not a competition.

Consider hypnosis

Hypnosis successfully treats anxiety and can help with self confidence issues, as it deals with the problem directly at the source. During hypnosis the subconscious mind becomes heightened and therefore allows re- programming regarding how you think, how you feel and more importantly, how you behave. Hypnosis helps you become less reactive and consequently you respond in a more positive and constructive manner.
We can often arrange hypnosis sessions whilst you are on an intensive course with us if wished let us know as you will need to book this in advance.

Before and during your lessons

Make sure you are on time, you don’t want to be rushed or stressed before even starting, perhaps go for a walk if possible. We try to arrange our courses usually to start after breakfast so you are fresh for the day, although you should try to avoid caffeine.
Try not to overthink – sounds easy I know, but try not to overthink about the lesson or what you are doing, try and let it become natural, which it will do over time.
Consider taking a natural remedy like rescue remedy and ensure you are not hungry – have a banana for example – you don’t want feel hungry on the lessons.
If you are feeling anxious let your instructor know. Perhaps you just need a breather, get out of the car and take a stretch, or let the instructor take over, discuss how you feel, consider putting the radio on low, , or spray your favourite perfume, this can be associated with positive feelings.
Drink water – stay hydrated throughout the lesson
Breathe – try breathing techniques

The driving test

We usually arrange our driving courses with a test booked at the end, but if preferred you can book a course without the test pre booked. Everyone will be apprehensive about the test, this is natural but by the time you come to take the test you should have had sufficient practise and built up your confidence, usually a mock test will be given too so you can see how it will feel like on test – Your instructor may be able to arrange this with a different instructor so you it will feel more like real test conditions if needed. Hopefully you should feel that you have the ability to pass and that you are able to drive unaided. You need to believe in yourself that you are able to do this, try VISUALISATION– image the freedom you will have one you have passed your test.
Discuss the option of having your instructor in the car on your test and if this will benefit you or not.
No pressure – it might be worth not telling others about your test so that you wont feel under pressure.
If you want to discuss you concerns give us a call on 01253 391941 or email us.
Thanks for reading.