5 reasons a long drive can reduce stress.
Although day-to-day driving can be stressful, under the right circumstances it can actually reduce stress. In fact, one recent study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, found that motorcycle riding can have the same stress relief benefits as going to the gym.
Below are 5 resons why going for a leisurely drive can help you manage your stress levels.
1. Clear your mind
Sometimes, when the pressures of work and life become unbearable, the best cure is some alone time. This is especially true if you live in a densely populated area or have children under the age of 30. ^Research shows solitude can have countless benefits when it comes to our mental health.
2. Embrace the silence
Next time you are driving, turn the music and radio off, be aware of your surroundings, and embrace the silence. EVs are amazing for this as their running noise is practically non-existent.
3. A change of scenery
There’s an old saying ‘A change of scenery is good for the soul’, and it turns out they were right. If you’re particularly stressed, a *change of scenery can be beneficial. When we’re going through an acute stressful moment, simply changing our environment can often be helpful.
4. Divert your phone while driving
This alone should make us all jump in the car and drive to Broome! There are apps that will stop incoming calls and messages by replying with a simple ‘I am driving right now but will respond to you when I reach my destination’. Our smartphones can be prime culprits for stress, we obsessively check our email, feeling a need to respond to family, friends, and co-workers immediately.
So divert away, and enjoy a different type of screen time, windscreen time, get it?
5. After the silence...
Crank up the tunes! Research shows that listening to music while driving can be relaxing. Whether it’s your favourite “Chill Tunes” playlist on Spotify or a podcast you love, we all have something that’s our go-to play when we need to relax, and driving is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of it. In fact, one study published in the journal Ergonomics found that listening to music while driving successfully maintained the mood of participants. In addition, the respiration rate was lower for those who listened to music versus those who didn’t, indicating a more relaxed state.
Regardless of how you de-stress, practice safety first. There’s a difference between being relaxed and being sleepy. If you feel yourself zoning out or nodding off behind the wheel, pull over and take a break. If you ever find yourself wondering, “Whoa; where did the last 30 seconds go?” then it’s probably time to get off the road.
So go ahead and schedule a drive as part of your mental health regime, and stay safe and happy on your journey.