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Driving Test Nerves - How to Relax?

10 replies

LoudBatPerson · 17/06/2019 15:50

Due to some medical issues, I was not able to learn to drive at the age most people do, but I have been fortunate to get these under control and have been learning to drive (in my mid-thirties).

It is now time for my (first) practical test, which is Wednesday, and I am so nervous I can barely concentrate on anything else.

The logical part of me thinks I know full well I can drive to the standard needed. Generally, I don't need any help when driving and don't make errors or forget basics like mirror checks and signals, so I should be able to do the test. However, my nerves are convincing I am going to fail and taking the test is a mistake.

My instructor and DH both have confidence in me. I drive fine during lessons and private practice, and have even taken over a lot of the general driving around for the family. I am lucky to have my own car so am experienced in driving without the safety net of the dual controls, and cope fine with this.

However, the thought of the test is making me so nervous that I can't do the next (just under) 48 hours like this.

Any tips or advice for calming down before the test?

I fear I am jeopardising myself by getting worked up.

OP posts:
MotherlandGasp · 17/06/2019 16:01

I've recently passed my test and I'm mid thirties. I was very nervous, I knew I could drive well enough but I was so nervous I convinced myself that I was going to fail because of that.

One thing I did was tell my driving instructor I was cancelling the test, but it was too late to get my money back. He persuaded me to think it over, and as I had nothing to lose and the money was already gone, that kind of took the pressure off a bit. I was so certain I would fail, I expected that, so I wouldn't be diappointed if I did.

Also, did you know your driving instructor can sit in the car with you and the examiner? I think that helped me too, as my instructor is such a calm man, it sort of rubbed off on me.

gamerchick · 17/06/2019 16:06

A quick prescription of beta blockers from your GP? It'll kill the butterflies and nerves.

You can have your instructor in the back of your car with you as has been said. My son's opted for that his next test.

MotherlandGasp · 17/06/2019 16:33

There's also relaxation exercises you could try. I did CBT a while ago for anxiety & depression. I used the relaxation exercise from that. Google Dr Robert Sharp Deep relaxation. It feels odd at first, but really helps if you do it twice a day for a few days. Sometimes I use it to get to sleep if my mind is racing.

LoudBatPerson · 17/06/2019 16:39

Thank you all!

I have managed to book in with my masseuse for after work today, which I am helping will at least relax me a little.

@MotherlandGasp - Yes I have decided to have my instructor in the car. She is a very calming person, and if I do fail, I would like her to see why first hand to help me overcome it. And thank you for the suggestion, I will google the relaxation exercise tonight! Thank you for sharing your story, it does make me feel better to know I am not the only person :)

@gamerchick - I won't be able to see my GP in time, but will keep that in mind if I need to resit it.

Just trying to keep positive and remind myself it is just a little bit of driving.

OP posts:
MotherlandGasp · 17/06/2019 16:44

That's okay. Glad it makes you feel a bit better. I think there are lots of people that take it later.

You can do it! Good luck for Wednesday.

Baboutheocelot · 17/06/2019 16:51

I was so very nervous when I took my driving test. My approach is to accept that the nerves will be there but I am going to do it anyway as I can’t let it hold me back. The likelihood is that the nerves will go once you’ve been driving for a few minutes. I also think over worst and best case scenario. The best is that you pass, fantastic! The worst is that you fail, never mind you can take the test again, not everyone passes first time. That’s really all that can happen.

LoudBatPerson · 18/06/2019 07:31

Thank you @Baboutheocelot, that does make me feel better.

@MotherlandGasp - I don't know if it was the massage or using a section of the deep relaxation you recommended but I had the best nights sleep I have had in ages yesterday.

I feel much better about everything now. I have one more lesson this afternoon (and a warm-up hour tomorrow before the test), but nothing, in particular, I feel I need to practice, which I guess is a good thing. I think I will just use this lesson to practice some more driving in test conditions.

I am feeling a lot better, and you are all right if I don't pass this time, never mind I can just go for it again.

OP posts:
NotEnoughTime · 18/06/2019 13:37

Great attitude Loud

Best of luck!

LoudBatPerson · 19/06/2019 13:54

Thank you everyone.

I only went and blooming passed!!

Only 2 faults as well. I am so happy.

Thank you for all the kind words.

OP posts:
Baboutheocelot · 21/06/2019 21:39

Oh well done, see you knew you could do it!

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