Breathing – Changing the rate and pattern of your breathing will significantly impact your anxiety in the right way. How? It’s referred to as ‘The Calming Response’ and works like this:
- When you breathe slower, your oxygen consumption decreases
- Your breathing automatically slows
- Your heart rate then slows
- Your blood pressure decreases
- Muscle tension throughout your body decreases
- You start to feel a growing calmness in your mind that will bring a sense of ease and relaxation throughout your body
Check out our article on Breathing Skills for more on this…
Positive thinking – The mind is a very powerful tool and it’s for you to choose how to use it. So, each time you’re about to start a driving lesson; imagine each scenario with a positive outcome.
Let the scene unfold in your mind: an enjoyable hour in the car with your instructor, learning a skill that will make a significant difference to your life from that moment on. Trust me, this works.
Tapping – I was introduced to this technique at the start of my career as a driving instructor. And, many years later, now that I specialise in teaching anxious drivers, it’s a coping mechanism I recommend to all my students; because I’ve seen the positive impact this emotional freedom technique (EFT) has.
Based on Chinese medicine and similar to acupuncture, a tapping sequence involves methodically tapping on up to nine meridian points. Before the tapping sequence begins, a phrase is used that acknowledges the anxiety you’re feeling. For example “Even though I have a fear of being in control of a car, I deeply and freely accept myself”.
You also need to set a benchmark level of the intensity of emotion you’re feeling at the start. This is repeated after the tapping sequence so you can measure the effectiveness.