How to reduce anxiety when learning to drive!

For some people, learning to drive is not the exciting adventure they have waited their whole lives to start…Learning anything new is a challenge, we all bring our past experiences (good and bad) to the table, and not all of us learn to drive because we want to. So let’s look at how Thought Field Therapy may help to make the learning experience less stressful for those who feel anxious about learning to drive.

Thought field therapy (TFT) is extremely effective, and whilst I am not a TFT practitioner, I do believe it can be of benefit for some students when learning to drive. Just as we all have preferred learning styles, we also all have different ways of dealing with anxiety. Some students find that issues such as worry over the driving test, performing certain driving tasks such as hill starts, or even remembering which is your left and right can all be easily resolved using TFT techniques!

TFT sequences have been formulated over many years, it is completely natural and works by tapping certain acupressure points on your body. Each of these points has a different effect depending on the issue you are addressing. Therefore, it is important, that to get the best results, you tap the correct points in the correct order. Rather like your hazard routine (MSPSL), you have to have the basic concepts and use them in the correct order otherwise the result is not very good! 

So let’s look firstly at where the tapping points are on the body and then we have 3 tapping sequences to help you with:

Remembering your left and rights!

Dealing with those hot sweats when your instructor asks you to do a task you hate!

Help to feel a little more confident around the examiner on test day!

Outside of Hand

Tapping Points

At the beginning of the eyebrow, just above the bridge of nose. 

Under eye: About 2cm below the bottom of the eyeball, at the bottom centre of the bony part, high on the cheek. 

Collarbone: About 2cm down and to the left or right or where you would knot a tie. 

Under arm: About 10cm directly below the armpit on the ribs. 

Tiny finger: Inside tip of the tiny finger, adjacent to the nail, and on the side closest to the thumb. 

Middle finger: Inside tip of the middle finger, adjacent to the nail, and on the side closest to the thumb. 

Index finger: Inside tip of the index finger, adjacent to the nail, and on the side closest to the thumb. 

Under nose: Under your nose, above the top lip.

Outside of hand: Outside edge of the hand, about midway between the wrist and the base of the little finger, the part of the hand that you would use for a karate chop. 

Gamut spot: On the back of the hand about 2cm below the raised knuckles of the ring finger and little finger when making a fist. 

You should tap each point about 5 times with 2 fingers (usually your index and middle finger).

Now you are familiar with the tapping points, below are the sequences that you need to use for each issue. It is important that you follow them accurately, as they have been discovered after many years of clinical research and you must use the correct tapping sequence for a specific issue. It’s no good using the basic tapping sequence for anxiety when you want to eliminate feelings of intimidation for example. Remember you should tap each point about 5 times using your index finger and your middle finger.

Mixing up left and right

This is caused by a condition known as psychological reversal, and whilst it is more common in dyslexic students, it is surprisingly common generally in the early stages of learning to drive. When we are focusing so hard on the challenging new task of driving for example, we temporarily forget the well practiced and by now subliminal skill of remembering which way is left or right when we need to turn!  This sequence takes seconds to do and you can do it at home just before your lesson. I think you will be amazed at how effective it is!

Tapping Points – Outside of right hand (Tap 5 times), Under Nose (Tap 5 times), Outside of left hand (Tap 5 times). Repeat this sequence 3 times just before every lesson and you should have less trouble with remembering left and right!

Mixing up left and right is more common than you think…even for our mascot Lilly!!!

Anxiety, nerves, stress, or issues such as hill starts, manoeuvres etc

It is common for learner drivers and even qualified drivers to be nervous of certain aspects of driving, for example hill starts or manoeuvres.  If you find yourself feeling anxious before your driving lesson, and it relates to a certain issue, try the below tapping sequence to help calm those nerves. But… also speak with your driving instructor as they should have plenty of tricks in their tool box to help you improve the skill and boost your confidence.

Tapping Points – Under Eye (Tap 5 times), Under Arm (Tap 5 times), Collarbone (Tap 5 times). Repeat the sequence until you feel calmer. 

Intimidation, such as feeling intimidated by the examiner

It is natural to feel nervous on test day and a healthy level of nervousness is normal which will help you perform at the top of your game.  Many students however feel intimidated by the thought of the examiner which can hinder their test performance, so it may be worth trying the below sequence to help keep those feelings of intimidation at bay.

Tapping Points – Eyebrow (Tap 5 times), Under Eye (Tap 5 times), Under Nose (Tap 5 times), Collarbone (Tap 5 times), Tiny finger (Tap 5 times).  Repeat the sequence until you feel more at ease.

As with most problems, there is not always one solution, but I believe Thought Field Therapy does have it’s place as a natural remedy in helping to calm driving nerves…so why not give it a try when you go back to driving after lockdown!

Published by Julie Hazell Driver Education

I am an independent Driving Instructor, passionate about teaching safe driving for life.

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