Alternative Relationships With Alternative Transportation: Falling In Love With Your Commute

Part 2 in our “Alternative Relationships” series

One of the reasons people continue to get in their cars alone and slog to work, even when it makes them miserable, is because once a routine becomes habit, it can be very hard to break out of it.Screen shot 2015-09-14 at 5.21.47 PM

You might not like your car commute, but it’s hardwired into your brain. But what if you could hardwire a different habit into your neural pathways – one that you actually like?

Two U.K. psychologists recently conducted a study looking at the travel routines of about 1,600 people who commute to a university campus by car, bus, walking, and cycling.

It turns out that people who commute by bike or by foot fall even harder into their habitual commute mode than drivers do. And they consistently report happier commutes. Drivers, on the other hand, were much more neutral about their transportation mode.

The psychologists say that might be because driving is seen as a “default” mode of transportation, whereas commuting by bike is a more active choice. The forethought that goes into a more active commute mode makes for a strong habit, once it’s entrenched.

The takeaway here is that if you don’t love your car commute, you have choices – and you may form a stronger bond with those new choices once you give them a try. You may even fall in love with your new commute.

Need some relationship counseling, or friendly help breaking out of the routine? We’re here to help!

Image via Creative Commons

 

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