Do you get really anxious and nervous on test days? If so, you’re not alone! A lot of students get siked out on the day of their driving exam, and that’s completely okay. It’s normal to be nervous because it means that you actually care about passing your test! Luckily, there are ways to calm your nerves without having to take actual medicine. Here are some things that we figure will help you calm nerves on the day of your driving test. But you can try these on any exam day, too!
1. Have a banana and herbal tea to calm nerves
You might feel sluggish if you eat a big meal before your test. Having a banana and some herbal tea is a good balance and can help you calm down. Be sure to avoid any caffeine, though! Coffee might sound like a good idea to keep you awake and alert, but in reality, it can backfire and make you jittery. Other caffeinated energy drinks are also bad and can make you even more anxious on test day. If you need a bit more protein, then a boiled egg or some roasted almonds should hold you over until after the process is over.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but bananas keep away the nerves! They’re full of Vitamin B, which contains trytophan. Trytophan is a type of protein that your body turns into seratonin, the “happy hormone.” This is how eating a banana can help calm your nerves on test day.
Tea can have caffeine in it, but the ones that calm you down typically don’t. You’ll want to make sure it says “decaffeinated” on the tea box before buying it. To help your nerves, we suggest drinking a cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea. Chamomile has been traditionally used to calm anxiety and settle your stomach, and it’s naturally low in caffeine. Peppermint tea also has several benefits. One of which is to relieve stress or anxiety.
2. Be distracted to calm nerves
It sounds funny, but being distracted can be a good way to get rid of nerves. It’s best to show up early on your driving test day. This means that you’ll have plenty of spare time in a waiting area, but your nerves can creep up on you! Being in a waiting room with other nervous people will not help you on test day. When you arrive early and check-in, you should step outside for some fresh air before it’s your time to shine! Find distractions like playing on your phone or listening to your favorite playlist.
3. Try breathing exercises to calm nerves
Although you can’t necessarily control your levels of anxiety, you can help them by controlling your breathing. You’ve probably heard that yoga and meditation are good for you. They’re inherently calming exercises, and they involve strategic breathing at the same time. You can use these same breathing exercises to help get rid of nerves for your driving test. Check out these three breathing exercises by Dr. Weil or simply take 10 deep breaths by breathing in through your nose and out of your mouth very slowly.
4. Pretend it’s a mock exam to calm nerves
You might find it helpful to pretend like your driving test is a mock exam. Imagine like it’s just another driving practice lesson with a substitute instructor. Most times, these proctors will try to lighten the mood since they know you’re nervous. So, don’t look at them as your enemy! You can also tell the person who has been driving with you throughout your practice lessons to carry a clipboard with them so that on test day, it feels normal with your proctor.