Breathing techniques to employ when driving

Breathing normally when you’re nervous is often hard to accomplish. But learning how to control your breathing will result is decreased nerves and an increased feeling of calm. 

So practising diaphragmatic breathing techniques will undoubtedly improve your overall experience of learning to drive.

How do you know when your breathing isn’t normal?

Normal will be different for each person. But if you experience the following, then there’s room for improvement.


These experiences are common when learning to drive. They can lead to discomfort and additional more advanced symptoms. But we can reassure you; they’re not physically dangerous.

Why must you try to breathe normally

Learning to breathe correctly will alleviate the uncomfortable sensations that result from not doing so. Over breathing (hyperventilating) results in our bodies taking in more carbon dioxide than we need.  Some symptoms caused by hyperventilation are listed below:

The good news is: our bodies can be trained to breathe correctly by using a simple technique

If you recognise any of the above and need to improve your breathing, a basic exercise can be used to retrain yourself. It’s recommended you employ this method, out of the car, at least every hour to start.

Because with regular practise, you’ll be able to start breathing using your lower lung rather than your upper lung. By doing so your anxiety levels and the physical symptoms of tension we’ve described above will diminish considerably.

Ready to start?

A widely taught method for controlled breathing is diaphragmatic breathing.

It’s known that when in a state of fear or panic, we automatically start breathing from our chest, not our stomachs (the place we should breathe from).

To understand the difference: as you breathe, place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach — notice which hand is rising and which is falling.

If it’s the hand on your chest, you aren’t breathing from your diaphragm. If it’s the hand on your stomach, you’re breathing well.

To improve your diaphragmatic breathing, you need to follow these guidelines:

Place one hand on your breastbone and the other on your navel. Then:

If you have breathing techniques to share, let us know by leaving your comments  below!

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