Is driving good for your mental health?


photo via Flicker under the creative commons license; Canva edits by Ben Cihlar

There are many benefits of driving and it can possibly help keep your mental health positive.

A recent study has shown that driving can actually decrease stress and anxiety. Researchers believe that driving can provide a sense of control and mastery over one’s environment. This feeling can be very beneficial for those who may suffer from depression or anxiety.

Mental health has always played a huge role in people’s overall health and wellbeing. states that more than 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or depression. Among these millions of people about 55% use driving for a way of coping with stress, but why is this? Driving can be therapeutic because of the rhythmic feeling of steering, accelarating, and braking. This can help put us in a relaxed state of mind. Sciencedaily says that the concentration required for driving can positively direct your focus to a better state of mind without you even realizing it. In addition, driving can provide you with time to listen to your favorite music or podcasts, which can be relaxing and enjoyable. And if you’re struggling with anxiety, driving can also help you confront your fears and build up your confidence.

the benefits of driving and your mental health, beautiful sunset view with  (photo via Flicker under the creative commons license)

People who use driving to reduce stress or anger tend to be a lot happier and satisfied with the results. Some even say that therapeutic driving has opened up to new methods of problem solving. Driving with friends, or even by yourself, can help clear your mind and lead to good memories. If you are frustrated or stressed out try going for a drive, don’t plan out a route, just drive. Turn on your favorite music, sit back, and drive, this feeling of comfort and control can lead to a sense of relaxation like no other. 

Yes, driving can be stressful and boring, but not all the time is that true. Being behind the wheel can benefit your mental health more than you may think. I personally believe driving can be beneficial during difficult times. Next time you are stressed out or upset ask yourself will going on a drive help?