We all have different coping strategies for when we’re feeling stressed: whether it’s going for a stroll to get some fresh air, blasting out music and singing along (terribly), or going for a long drive to distract yourself from reality.
But where would you want to drive in such situations if you got the choice? Somewhere exotic maybe, or just somewhere that’s peaceful enough to clear your mind – if only temporarily.
A recent study found that most Brits would choose the latter, with the Scottish Highlands rated as the top dream driving location.
The Lake District, Route 66 and the Scottish Highlands were all among the dream location stressed-out Brits would most like to go for a relaxing drive.
According to the study of 2,000 adults, the average person spends more than 11 and a half days per year (or 46 minutes per day) stressed. And these worries mean Brits struggle to sleep for six nights each month.
The research by Hyundai, which looked at the dream destinations for getting in the car and unwinding following the launch of its new i30 Fastback N, found that Scotland was the most popular country.
In particular, the Scottish Highlands, famous for its dramatic landscapes and quiet winding roads like the A82 and A835.
Scotland topped the list ahead of arguably the world’s best-known road, Route 66 in the USA, as well as other places such as the Lake District, Cornwall, and New Zealand.
Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman said:
Our modern world offers more opportunities than ever before in many ways, but at the same time, people are also more stressed than ever before.
Research shows that having access to nature is a real way to unwind and destress, but many of us live in heavily built-up urban areas with little access to nature beyond a shuffle around our local town park, which is often not exactly an oasis of peace, with dogs and footballs flying in all directions.
Your car becomes not just a mode of transport, but a gateway to another world, in which your everyday worries and concerns are far behind you.
Scotland has been voted the top destination for a relaxing drive, but even if you are not lucky enough to live in Scotland, our green and pleasant land offers plenty of choices for anyone who wants to regroup and de-stress away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday life.
The study, carried out by OnePoll for Hyundai, revealed a bad night’s sleep was most likely to stress people out, followed by money concerns and running late.
The study also found more than half of people polled admitted that over the past year the pressures of daily life have left them needing a break.
Social media is affecting the younger generation, with almost 40 per cent of under 44’s admitting the likes of Facebook and Twitter had made their lives more stressful. This figure fell to just 12 per cent for over 55’s.
Women lead a more stressful life, spending 51 minutes per day stressed compared to 41 minutes for men. And it’s adults aged 35-44 who are the most stressed demographic, struggling to sleep eight nights per month and spending 61 minutes per day worried or wound up.
The most popular thing to do when stressed is to watch TV, followed by listening to music and going for a walk. Adults also try to unwind by spending time on their own, going for a run, mowing the lawn and getting behind the wheel of a car for a relaxing drive.
Hyundai is encouraging Brits to enjoy some ‘time out’ by driving to one of their favourite places with friends or family – or to simply have some alone time.
A spokesperson for Hyundai UK said:
Despite being given the choice of anywhere in the world, Brits have chosen the glorious Scottish landscape as their number one location for a relaxing drive.
You can’t blame them – with dozens of quiet road which meander through the dramatic scenery, it is the perfect location to visit and unwind.
Engineers from Hyundai developed the i30 Fastback N to be capable on a racetrack as well as comfortable on everyday roads. At the push of a button, drivers have the choice of five drive modes that change the character of the car and can match their mood: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom.
With a two-litre turbocharged engine, it is capable of 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).