It can be scary going to do your Defensive Driving Course. Not only are you most likely going to be alone in a room full of 30 people you’ve never met before, but you’re also expected to contribute and engage in discussions around safe driving. You might even be telling yourself, “It’s ok. I don’t really have to pay attention anyway. I’ll do just enough to get through and get this thing finished as soon as possible.” And, oh yeah, there’s that little matter of the 1 hour in-car driving session with a professional instructor to look forward to as well – intimidating much?

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many of our students feel the exact same way before they come to a course. Here’s what Patience had to say about her experience:

I was pretty nervous doing a defensive driving course with little ones to care for and a baby on board at the time, but my husband had already paid for it and so I took the opportunity! To go from learners to full licence only took me just over 10 months as I’m over 25!

But most importantly I went to my licence tests more confident and a much safer driver.

Thanks 2 drive safe!

With all of this in mind, here’s 3 quick tips to calm those nerves before coming to the course:

1. Change your language

It sounds crazy, but the way you talk to yourself has a massive impact on how you’re feeling at any given moment. For instance, if you’re telling yourself “This is going to boring. The only reason I’m doing this is to get time off my licence”, then how do you think you’re going to feel about going to the course? You’ll probably feel like you’re wasting your time, right?

Watch what happens when you change that language to be positive: “This is going to be a great new experience. It will be fun and engaging, I’ll become a better driver for life because of it, and I might even make some new friends!” Can’t you just feel the difference!

2. Prepare yourself

If you don’t like meeting new people it can help to prepare some small talk to get things moving. If you’re nervous about talking in a large group then practice sharing your viewpoint with your friends, whether it’s about how awesome learning to drive is or the latest Game of Thrones episode. You get the idea…

3. Breathe

Breathing can greatly reduce nerves and stress very quickly. I know it sounds simple but if you’re still feeling nervous about the course when you arrive, just take a moment to stop. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes. Put your hand on your belly. Take 10 long, deep breaths.

image from imgur

Make sure you’re breathing into your abdomen and not into your chest, as shallow breathing can make you feel anxious. One quick way to make sure you’re breathing deeply is that your belly will move your hand as you breathe in and out, and your chest won’t move.

Comment below what has worked for you to overcome your nerves.