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  • Emma Hallett

10 top tips for managing stress on test day

Some of these tips will also help you to manage your stress during your driving lessons and once you have passed (we all experience stress when driving at some point).

1. Smile!

This releases happy hormones. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, fake it til you make it!

2. Breathe!

When we’re stressed, our breathing goes out of sync so you need to focus on getting it back in line. Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold for the count of 2 and out through your mouth for the count of 6. If you can, breathe out through pursed lips. This releases good hormones and calms you but is a skill so practice daily even when you're feeling good.

3. Visualise what it will feel like to pass.

Imagine telling a friend or family member; where you will go on your first solo drive or which car you will buy when you've passed.

4. Chew gum.

Your brain thinks you’re eating so it believes things can’t be that bad.

5. Hum or sing.

It helps your breathing and tricks a part of your brain into thinking that all is well. Singing something positive will improve your mood even more.

6. Tell yourself it’s going to be ok.

This might sound simple but reassuring yourself that the way you are feeling will pass is often one of the easiest ways to feel calmer. Whatever you say to yourself, remember to keep it positive.

7. Talk yourself through things.

This will help you keep your focus on the drive so there’s less time to worry.

8. Prepare.

Take as many mock tests as you feel you need, I can arrange mocks with other instructors too if you want so it’s more like the real thing.

9. Get as much practice as you can.

If you can practice outside of lessons then great, otherwise make sure you have enough lessons so you feel confident and ready to drive alone. Remember, there’s other stuff you can do between lessons, such as reading books, watching videos and even doing practice theory tests. This will all help to keep your knowledge up and give you more confidence.

10. Treat it like a lesson.

The examiner is just there to make sure you are driving safely and legally. Try to think of it as just another lesson rather than anything special.

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