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Serenity Now: Why Driving Beats Yoga in Eliminating Stress

Let’s face it: we are one stressed out country. But who knew driving could slash our anxiety better than mindful bodywork? According to new research gathered by Volvo, "75 percent of Americans are seeking more ways to find calm amid the increasing stress in their lives" — and more Americans find peace on their daily drive (20 percent) than while practicing yoga (14 percent). Holy "om"!

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the carmaker in March 2018, sampling 2,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, with 1,231 of those respondents daily commuters.

The automaker found that the desire to find serenity and calm amongst the chaos is on the rise, and it examined how commuting and traffic affected stress levels among Americans. Additionally, it dug into data to find the factors that might help drivers decompress and find their own personal oasis on the road.

Craving a Calm Commute

Not surprisingly, Volvo found that a whopping 94 percent of Americans believe serenity is important, and over three-quarters (76 percent) of working folks have a stressful commute. What’s interesting, though, is that 33 percent of commuters are searching for a bit of peace as they make the trek to the office every day.

It also discovered that stress is magnified as a driver’s commute gets longer — but this isn’t just limited to driving, but also encompasses other life responsibilities. Passengers, too, feel the frustration, with 72 percent of those riding shotgun saying they feel stressed, too.

The good news is that Americans are willing to sacrifice things like screen time for a calmer commute. The study found that one in four "would give up social media for a month (24 percent)." One in six people reported they "would stretch their budget to buy a more relaxing vehicle (15 percent)," which could go a long way in having a more peaceful drive. Among the top features that would help commuters relax in the car include comfortable seats (57 percent), seats that optimize posture (40 percent), better noise insulation (31 percent), air filters that prevent smells/pollutants (28 percent), automated safety features (27 percent) and a better selection of music, podcasts and other audio (27 percent).

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

If you think hopping on a commuter train or bus would slash a person’s stress level, survey says … nope. Eighty-four percent of respondents say they feel more relaxed in their own vehicles compared to using mass transit.

Perhaps it’s time to shell out some cash for a new car? Consider one that will help put a little more "namaste" in your day.

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