Eight tips for overcoming driving test
Remind yourself that instructor wouldn't be putting you in for your test if he or she didn't think you were good enough. During your lessons you're already driving at a standard where they consider you're safe and responsible enough to be on your own. Now all you've got to do is to show the examiner what you're capable of and that driving licence is all yours!
Tap into the power of visualisation and positive thinking - sports stars use it regularly to help them attain their peak performance. Spend time imagining you successfully carrying out difficult manoeuvres and dealing confidently with heavy traffic. This will reinforce the message to your subconscious mind that you can do these things and lessen the likelihood of you falling apart on your test.
Get support. Talking through any anxieties with friends, family and your instructor will help you feel more positive, and many of them will be able to give you useful advice and encouragement. Herbal remedies for nerves such as Kalms can be helpful - but you do have to start taking them a couple of weeks in advance to reap the full benefits.
Breathing exercises can be very useful - practicing them doesn't have to involve sitting cross-legged in a room surrounded by burning incense. Just focusing on your in and out breaths will have a soothing effect - you might like to try counting the breaths, or focusing on a mantra such as 'I feel calm'.
5: flower power
Many ex-learners put their success down to Bach Rescue Remedy. This is a new-age concoction of 'flower essences' developed by Dr Edward Bach, a Harley Street doctor and homeopath. It's available from most health food shops and has a reputation for being very effective in stressful situations.
6: eat a banana
Shortly before your test, eat a banana. It's well-known among instructors as the driving test super food, for the following reasons - bananas is full of B vitamins, which help calm the nerves. They contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into seratonin, the 'happy hormone' - which will keep your mood upbeat. And they're also high in potassium. When we are stressed our metabolic rate rises and potassium levels decrease. Eating a high-potassium snack like a banana will help rebalance the levels of this important mineral, normalise your heartbeat and send extra oxygen to the brain.