For many people, riding automobiles induces a significant amount of stress and anxiety. Getting stuck in traffic and the commute adds to this. This is why being in a city or a densely populated area can be extremely dreadful. Sometimes, all you want to do is to escape.
Surely, being stuck behind the wheel can be stressful when you live in an urban area. But in the right situation, riding a car could be a form of therapeutic activity that benefits your well-being. Based on a study from the University of California, motorcycle rides may have the same effect as a gym workout to alleviate stress.
Furthermore, according to 2017 research, approximately 62% of individuals enjoy driving or riding vehicles just for fun. It can be a form of making memories and a chance to explore various destinations for most people. But did you know that leisure car rides are also known to have mental health benefits? Here are the reasons why your counselor may suggest this activity to you:
Provides You Time To Think Alone
We all need to have little time for ourselves occasionally. Research suggests that spending time alone can have certain psychological benefits. Solitude can allow you to stimulate your emotional and intellectual capacities. It can help you better understand your situation and may result in a deeper understanding of your sense of self.
Going on long car rides, in this case, is the best opportunity to achieve this. It is a great way to unwind and have fun at the same time. Leisure car rides can provide you with the perfect solitary setting that you need. Your counselor might advise you to take these joy rides whenever you feel overwhelmed but can still drive.
When clearing your mind, you will also have the opportunity to reflect on the essential things in your life. For example, you can reflect on your goals, needs, and desires. Ultimately, you will learn the importance of taking time off from everything in your life. You might need this even more if you live in a congested and population-dense area.
Practicing Mindfulness To Reduce Stress
Leisure car rides are also the perfect setting to practice mindfulness. It is a form of meditation where you recognize your presence at a particular moment. When you become more attuned with your surroundings, thoughts, and emotions, you will feel more relaxed. You can achieve this through the quiet environment which car rides provide.
Simply changing your scenery can alleviate your acute stress, especially if there is a lot of tension coming from your school or workplace. A change in scenery might let you emotionally and mentally detach from your problems, if temporarily. You might find that passing through different areas or landscapes calms you down more than anything.
Your counselor might recommend leisure car rides as a form of meditation to reduce your stress. What you need to keep in mind is practicing calm driving conditions. Remember to check the road you will drive on. Ensure that there aren’t many things that can distract you from driving. You should also look into the weather because it is better to take a joy ride in good weather. Finally, consider the time of day when you will take a drive. Ideally, you should not be on the road with many other drivers.
Helps You Regain Control
Aside from clearing your mind and reducing stress, leisure car rides can also help you gain control. Being a passenger in a public commute or even in someone else’s car can make you feel trapped. When you are stuck in traffic, you are unable to do anything. This might make you feel powerless. This feeling is similar to when you have felt frustrated and disappointed in yourself or in something that happened in your life.
A car ride might simulate the feeling of control for you. Being behind the wheel suggests that you are in control of where the car will go and, therefore, control your future. You might even feel a sense of independence during a good drive. Contrary to the helplessness when you are a passenger, the freedom that driving your car offers is pleasurable and powerful.
Whether you feel the pressure to perform better or simply cannot grasp your freedom, a drive will surely do you good. Driving offers opportunities to self-reflect, but also it lets you do this while you are in control. This allows you to develop some confidence, first in your driving skills and later on in life in general.
Long Bumpy Rides Give You An Adrenaline Rush
Adrenaline is the hormone released when you experience a stressful and dangerous situation that excites your body. While car rides and drives are usually leisurely, you can be experimental because you know your way around a car. Your counselor will encourage you to take a drive to help stimulate your mind and body. However, they will discourage risky behavior, especially if you are not in the best of dispositions.
However, if they trust you, they might encourage a little adrenaline in the form of bumpy rides or driving courses. An adrenaline rush is said to make you feel alive, if momentarily. It makes your heart beat faster, which increases the blood flow in your muscles. However, there is no scientific evidence claiming that this sensation makes you genuinely feel alive. Nonetheless, feeling some safe excitement can contribute to a positive change in your mindset.
All in all, going for a car ride or a drive is a good idea. You can even opt to take a few days of vacation from work or school and change your surroundings for an extended period. Remember what they always say: the journey you take is as important as where you’re headed. So stop and smell the roses, take in your surroundings and remember to reflect on yourself during your drive.