Is Commuting Making you Miserable?
Millions of commuters struggle with the hassles and little miseries of driving to work every day. In her article “For a Happier Life, Rethink Your Commute” on Inc.com, Jessica Stillman shares the results of studies that confirm what many of us already know: “The more time you spend in the car, the more miserable you’re likely to be.”
According to the article, a British team of researchers used 18 years of data to study the effects on over 18,000 adults in the UK to study the health effects of commuting.
The results showed that driving to work makes most people miserable, “while exercise and spending time outside (preferably in nature), improves our moods and sense of well-being.”
So what is Stillman’s solution? She suggests these positive alternatives to driving:
1. Biking or Walking to Work Can Change Your Life
The British research team found that commuters who biked or walked to work felt happier in general than those who drove. So, Stillman suggests, if possible, put your car in the garage and bike or walk to work.
2. Public Transportation is often Less Stressful than Driving
Researchers also found that public transportation is often less stressful than driving. This may come as a surprise to people who associate public transportation with major inconveniences and stress.
Yet many people find they can actually relax or meet interesting people on buses and trains. Connecting with others, even for a short time, can enhance one’s mood as well.
Lead researcher Alan Martin says “buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialize, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station. . .”
3. What if You Have to Take the Car?
Unfortunately, in many U.S. locations you must commute by car. If this is the case, Stillman suggests thinking outside the box. Consider working from home or asking your employer if you can switch to a four-day workweek. Your boss may surprise you and agree. You never know unless you ask.
Or, you could look for places to live that are closer to work. Yes, this is a big move and may not sound practical, but in the long run, a shorter commute could save you money, time, and improve your mental health.
Which ever way you choose, happy commuting!
To view the original article in its entirety, please visit Inc.com.