three emotional systems while driving

How do you feel when driving?

When you are driving or are on a driving lesson how do you feel?  What emotions do you experience?  Do they stay the same or do they change?

We have three emotional systems that govern our actions and how we feel. We should experience all three systems throughout the day, with different systems being more prominent depending on the situations that we find ourselves in.  Understanding more about how we all experience these emotional systems can help you learn how to manage them and use them to your advantage.

Three Emotional Systems

Drive System - this is our action system, the one that makes us feel motivated, ready to take action, rise to challenges, plan, work, get on and do things.  We may feel alert, purposeful and have a sense of achievement.  This is the perfect emotional system to be experiencing while driving or learning to drive.

Defence System - this is our fight, flight, freeze which is responsible for our survival. It is always on the lookout for danger and always seeking safety.  We need this emotional system to be switched on while driving for our hazard perception and so that we stay alert.  However, we do not want this emotional system to be in overdrive and taking over as we can not run, hide or freeze while driving!

Soothing System - our soothing system balances our drive and defence systems. It is about rest and recovery, feeling calm, connected to family and friends and spending more time in 'being' rather than 'doing'.  The techniques on this website teach you how to activate this system, so that if you find yourself feeling too busy, too nervous or too frantic then you can use your new skills to manage those feeling back to feeling safe and motivated.

Practice throughout the day checking into how you are feeling, what emotions you are experiencing and whether you can identify when each of the different emotional systems is most active.  How does each system affect your thoughts, mood and behaviour?  Do they have an impact on the way that you drive? 

We learn best when we are between our soothing and drive systems, motivated and wanted to learn but feeling safe and secure to do so.

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