Do you get the most out of your driving lessons?

 Have you ever been in a lesson at school, college or university or a work training course, fitness class, driving lesson or even accessing this website and secretly decided you can not be bothered?  You go through the motions, do just enough - or maybe you don't, and as a result you don't achieve anything and feel that you've wasted your time.

This action of being consciously aware and in control of how much you are going to actively participate with something is called reflexivity.  We've all been there, some days you just do not feel like it, however when you go through the motions anyway you just end up feeling more fed up and negative.  Unsurprisingly research has found that those individuals who consciously decide to take part or engage in a situation are much more likely to have a positive experience and achieve more as a result.

So are you getting the most out of your driving lesson or the resources on this website?  

Or are you just going through the motions and realising that nothing is changing?

Experts believe that the quality of your participation has an effect on the outcome so next time you don't feel in the mood for your driving lesson, but you also do not want to waste your time and money, try reminding or asking yourself:

Why did I choose to learn to drive?

What are the benefits of driving?

How will it be useful to me?

What would I like to achieve in the next lesson?

How would it feel to actively take part and give it a go?

How has it felt before when I have engaged with a lesson?

And then see whether choosing to engage and participate can give you a different result.

 Unmotivated student

What is stress?

 
The word stress has become part of our everyday language with people using it to describe themselves, work or modern life. We often see different reports telling us stress is bad for us or that some stress is good for us. Different people seem to experience varying levels of stress in the same situations, making it confusing to work out what triggers a stress response and what feeling stressed means for different people.

Stress is experienced when a person perceives that they are not able to cope with the demands of a situation or task that is important to them and has four different stages.  

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Negative Thinking is a habit

Habits are developed over weeks, months and years and are a great time-saving solution. Once we have learnt and mastered an action we can daisy chain it with others until we have our daily routines organised on autopilot.

This daisy-chaining of actions and developing habits is the same process we undergo when learning to drive both that is a subject for a future blog!

How about thinking? Do you have any thinking styles, patterns or thoughts that have become a habit? Negative thinking can become a habit that is so automatic that it can be hard to break - or more concerning you may not even have realised that you are doing it!

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Why is the Out Breath calming?

 Several breathing exercises ask you to focus on the out breath which may seem counter intuitive but there is a reason.

When we breathe out unconsciously this is actually a letting go rather than an action.  Breathing in is an action which is why when we choose to breathe consciously we instinctively start with the in breath.  Breathing out is actually a release of air, when we breathe out we let go a little, releasing the air in our lungs and at the same time our muscles let go a little, relaxing and softening.  Try it now and notice how your muscles respond to the in breath and out breath, notice what your shoulders do.  

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How do relaxation techniques help reduce driving stress, nerves and anxiety?

 Every time we find ourselves in a stressful situation and we feel under threat we tense our muscles ready to fight, run, freeze or hide.  Even when the stressful situation is resolved and the time for action has passed our muscles will often remain tense for a long period of time. 

Repeated long-term stress whether generated by everyday life or by driving can lead to long-term muscle tension and muscle tension can lead to pain, headaches, poor sleep patterns and irritability which of course can make us more stressed!  These habits are repeated and developed over years until the feelings of being stressed with our shoulders being up by our ears, aching necks and shoulders and sudden flares of anger in response to situations become a normal part of our lives.  

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