Stressed out Brits are being consumed by their lack of sleep, financial worries and struggles with staying in shape for more than 12 hours per week, a new study has found.
A survey of 2,023 UK drivers conducted by Auto Trader has revealed that one in three adults feel the effects of stress on a regular basis, if not more. Indeed, 11% of these say they feel constantly under stress.
Over the course of a week, the average person claims to spend 12 hours 35 minutes feeling stressed, which equates to a staggering 655 hours over a year, or approximately 27 days.
Looking at the top causes of stress in modern society, lack of sleep (39%), financial struggles (32%) and issues with weight and fitness (27%) topped the list.
Meanwhile, more than one in four (23%) say that mental health struggles cause them to feel stressed, whilst 22% say they struggle with social anxiety.
The research goes on to reveal the top ways in which adults choose to relieve stress – with nearly half (48%) saying they go for a walk, 32% turning to exercise, and 30% saying that listening to music or a podcast helps them to relax.
The survey also found that as many as 59% of UK drivers would consider going out for a drive in order to reduce their stress levels and feel more relaxed, with 41% of these saying they have already used this stress-relieving technique in the past.
In Auto Trader’s latest report, Good Carma, Chartered Psychologist Dr Mann muses on the ideal driving conditions to help drivers decompress and concludes that a sunrise or sunset drive is the best time to be out, as the roads are quieter and this can provide an optimum time for processing the events of the day.
In the report, Dr Mann also reveals the therapeutic benefits of the environment we chose to drive through, listing coasts, gleaming skyscrapers and views of green landscapes as ideal sources of visual stimulation, which all help with relaxation.
This is supported by research from the report which found natural landscapes help to reduce stress, with 48% of drivers saying they find driving in the countryside relaxing, 38% saying they unwind when driving by the coast, and 23% enjoy a calming drive in forested areas.
Auto Trader’s Rory Reid said: “Driving can be a brilliant way to relieve stress and anxiety, as the research shows that it provides a form of escapism from real life, so people can clear their minds and simply focus on where they are heading to next, not what they are driving away from.
“It’s no surprise that we’ve continued to see such high volumes of searches for brand new cars on Auto Trader, particularly in the wake of lockdown, as people look to take back control and seek the benefits of driving.”
Dr Mann, Chartered Psychologist and author of The Science of Boredom, added: “People today tend to be over-loaded with information, worries and high levels of constant stimulation. Going for a drive for the sake of it, rather than just to get from A to B, can be a relaxing antidote to the high-pressured carousel we often find ourselves on. It can give us chance to pause, think, breathe and recharge.”
You can find Auto Trader’s Good Carma design and full report here.