How to relax before your driving test TIPS
Part of the reason people fail their first driving test is because they are so nervous. But why should nerves get in the way of performance?
By the time we recommend you book in for your test, your good enough to pass, but may not be relaxed enough to do well in the test.
Too much anxiety makes it harder to think clearly and also harder to make small dextrous movements. Because nature wants big, mighty movements from us in times of real danger (running, punching, pushing, and climbing), small delicate movements become much harder. This is why you might see someone's hands shaking when they are attempting to tie shoelaces or unscrew a bottle top while very anxious.
A bit of anxiety as you go into your driving test is good as it will get you focussed, but too much will prevent you driving as well as you should.
The quickest way to relax as you go into your test is to breathe deeply. But any old deep breathing isn't so effective; your out-breath needs to be longer than your in-breath. When we breathe out, we start to relax; similarly, when people panic, they just tend to breathe in. Take two minutes before your driving test to breathe in deeply, then breathe out slowly - so that you are breathing out for a longer time period. Do this 20 times to calm everything right down.
Try to get things in perspective
Remember, your driving test may seem really important (it seemed all important to me the first time), but it is really a very tiny part of life. Take a few minutes just before your test to reflect on how much trouble and strife there is in the world, how many people suffer, never experience drinking clean water, never have a roof over their heads or enough to eat. Tell yourself not to sweat the small stuff and, yes, whatever it seems like, this is small stuff.
Keep the pressure off - by keeping it to yourself
Don't tell everyone you know about your upcoming test, because everyone will be waiting for the "news" - more pressure you don't need.
It's far better to surprise people with good news than to have to explain what went wrong, no matter how sympathetic people are.
Use mental rehearsal constructively
You've practiced driving, right? You've studied your road signs and know about three-point turns and reverse parking and all the rest. The fact is, you've practiced how you're going to drive, but have you practiced how you're going to feel? Learn self-hypnosis to practice naturally feeling relaxed and in flow during the driving test. Remember, you can forget about passing or failing at this point.
But (important advice coming up!) don't visualize having passed your test. Leave the results of better performance to themselves. I want you to focus on your performance state during the actual driving itself.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath (remember to breathe out a little slower than you breathe in, extending that out-breath). Now imagine watching yourself as if on a TV looking calm, relaxed, and comfortable, yet alert and focussed, at the Vicroads building; meeting the examiner; getting into the car; and taking the whole test - see yourself doing everything in just the right way, focussed on the process of driving rather than any possible outcome.