June 22nd, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Stress and the city: How your brain responds

The people, the traffic, the crime - these are just some reasons why you might feel stressed out while living in a city. And now research backs up that the brain of a city-dweller may respond more strongly to stress than a country-dweller.

The study in the journal Nature also suggests that two brain regions involved with emotion and stress regulation could potentially be harmed by living in a city.

The new research delves into possible biological explanations for why other studies have found a 21% higher risk of anxiety disorders and a 39% increased risk for mood disorders among people who come from cities.

In the first stage of the study, 32 healthy participants did arithmetic tasks under time pressure while researchers examined their brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They found that people who live in cities had increased activity in the amygdala, an almond-shaped region of the brain involved in stress response, compared with those who lived in towns and rural areas.

In a follow-up, 23 participants engaged in slightly different mental tasks and got negative feedback from the experimenters in videos. Here, the study authors found the same pattern in amygdala activity among people who lived in cities. At the same time, people who had grown up in cities often showed activity in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex - a major player in stress regulation. Study authors then looked at 24 people who mostly resided in towns and rural areas, who did not show these stress responses. (This sample size is considered respectable in the brain imaging world).

The brain regions identified here have long been known to activate under stressful conditions, but this is the first evidence that city living can make you respond to stress more, said David Knight, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who was not involved in the study.

More research needs to be done to determine whether these brain responses among people who live in cities, or grew up in them, are actually good or bad for you, Knight said.

This study did not directly address how long you have to live in a city to have these effects, or how much vacation time the test subjects take away from busier environments.

There's good evidence that too much stress can harm the brain, Knight said. On the other hand, if you're in a place where you need to react more quickly and vigorously to potential threats, the stress response could be beneficial.

"Maybe just being in a busier environment, things that are stressful are the ones that need to be prioritized. So your brain responds more to stressful events so that you prioritize them more," he said.

soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Fran Drake

    Really? With this small sample size you are making these types of generalizations?
    What about Portland Oregon where people love to live, or Seattle Austin, or San Francisco?
    It would be nice to know which cities.... Again, way to small of a sample size and who knows which cities...maybe you just picked the stressful cities...

    June 22, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lizq

      I'm from Portland, and life was great. Not too stressful, besides family stuff that everyone goes through. The rain was depressing, but not really stressful. I'm in Houston now, and not too stressed out either. Although having to dress formal is a bit annoying at times (Portland is super casual). I guess it depends on the person and how they deal with stress.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      If the effect is large enough it doesn't matter. These studies are too expensive to perform on large populations. These type of studies are useful and the results of this one are not at all surprising.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      a study size of 33 people is making national news? what a joke.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
    • ben

      since this study is a quasi-experiment, a sample size of 32 is acceptable

      June 22, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • city girl

      i'm sure size matters. portland and austin are not large cities, have a different feel than san francisco and even seattle. i grew up in houston, and have lived in austin and nyc about 10 years each. i left austin because the lifestyle there was a little stagnant for me after a while, and more so probably because i grew up in a big city. nyc is awesome and offers all kinds of quality of life, aside from varying levels of stress people may experience.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • city girl

      p.s. i feel more healthy in nyc because life is so much more engaged and engaging. you interact with people all the time. you do use your brain more, and in all kinds of fun and stimulating ways. yes, there are occasional downsides, but all locales have the upsides and downsides, kinda the point. also, non-driving culture is really liberating. i get away to the quieter, slower places – of all sizes and types – for a break indeed, but i never find myself wanting to stay too long.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • PhatEmu

      Cities are virtual cages for humans.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      San Francisco and Seattle are hardly nirvana. SF has crime problems, insanely high cost of living, poor weather half the year, and traffic can be brutal. Seattle is better, but not by much. I would say SF & Seattle are two places where you'd definitely be more stressed living. Austin and Portland are more smaller cities and probably not as stressful.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • stgator

      I have lived in city environments (San Francisco and Vancouver – both very nice) and in more rural settings and I have to say my well being and health is much better in an urban environment. For starters in the burbs/country you can't really get anywhere without a car which in itself is stressful. In the country I have to force myself to get exercise and be active. In a city like Vancouver or SF I don't need much incentive to go out for a long walk. I also feel disenfranchised in the country/burbs which I think makes me more depressed. Maybe if I lived in Mumbai I might find city living stressful.

      June 22, 2011 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
  2. pighunter

    Cities suck.

    June 22, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • i_like_cities

      u suck

      June 22, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
    • pighunterwholikescities

      U both suck.

      June 22, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
  3. The Jackdaw

    I live in a city and I'm stressed. I grew up in the country and I was NOT stressed. Seems valid to me.

    June 22, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CSMinDC

      Same here. Live just outside DC. Overcrowded, high taxes, and local governments that believe in socialism.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      DC is awful. I lived there for 8 months and couldn't take it. Constant traffic and the people couldn't care less about YOU, just what YOU can do for THEM. I hightailed it back to my home city. Yes, I still live in a city but it's a lot less stressful than DC.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • Cities Rule

      Guess what? Those same roads that took you to the city can take you right back out. Congrats on your new move back to the burbs.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
    • city girl

      maybe you are more stressed living in a city because you grew up in a rural area. another combo/factor to consider.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  4. The3rdSeal

    You can only be stressed by that which you allow to stress you.

    June 22, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Jackdaw

      Ok Yoda.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  5. Denizen Kate

    How can you call it a study with only 32 people? Or 23 or 24 as in the so-called "follow up" studies? A grand total of 79 people isn't much of a study, and they never specified which cities these people inhabited. There's a big difference between living in Chicago and living in Seattle, for example. Did someone actually get paid for this? Where can I sign up?

    June 22, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bill

    Stress is good for you and if you are introspective can learn how to regulate it and make it advantageous. Living in NYC, I love the stress and movement of the city. It is the best thing about a city. Frankly, I think people that can't handle city stresses are weak and incredibly boring.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snicker

      I want to grow up to be just like you. :o)

      June 22, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Good, stay in New York. We don't want your stress flowing over to the real parts of the country.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • Papa N

      I could, if I chose to, handle most of the stresses of NYC... except the sweet summer smell of sewer wafting up from the catacombs. But I guess being able to handle that makes you strong and incredibly interesting.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • Tubs

      You guys are missing Bill's point. The joy of living in the city is the diversity and the culture you experience on a day to day basis. I don't need to drive 20 miles to work, I don't need to work in the yard all weekend. You are constantly more aware of what is happening around you, and thus more alert/alive.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      @Tubs, well said.

      @Bill, I lived in NYC for 10 years, and I loved it there. It's like no other city on Earth. I don't think I would describe those who wouldn't thrive there as boring, though. That's a little harsh.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • dannage

      Bill, we're all so proud of you and your NYC life.
      One minute you're living the life, and then next you're clutching your chest while they step over you.... how urbane!

      June 22, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  7. Spearwielder

    This is news? Crime rates spike around cities, and despite having lower gun ownership rates than rural areas, gun-related crimes are much higher in cities than in small towns and in the country. IMHO, people simply were not meant to live in such high-density areas.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alison

      Yeah there might be less *registered* gun owners in the city. Doesn't mean people don't have them.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • DoubleTap

      nonsense- many of us carry in the city, have CCWs, a non-issue – you have domestic violence in the burbs because all of you are losing your homes from mortgage default

      June 22, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  8. Green Acres

    I went from renting to owning a couple of acres in the country about a year ago. Although it is much to take care of, I love it. The peace, the smells, the freedom. I work in Louisville, KY, but have about a 20 mile drive to home in Indiana. The culture difference in 20 miles is amazing. I don't even lock my house at home. Life is good. 🙂

    June 22, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbo

      What's your address? J/k =)

      June 22, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Jimbo

    I bet is has a lot to do with traffic and driving. I live in rural western Colorado and love it, when I have to venture into the Denver/Boulder area I automatically get stressed. You go from driving the speed limit with ease to being on a road with thousands of highly caffinated people who are forced to sit in traffic all while dodging road bikers who feel traffic laws don't apply to them, the coked up guy behind you who thinks he can push your car through the 100s in front of you and traffic lights as far as the eye can see. I couldn't imagine dealing with that every day and this is Denver not even close to New York or LA.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mr60233

    Yup, I am sick and tired of living in a large city, I have lived in Chicago for almost 4 years and it is time to move to a smaller town. I am sick and tired of the traffic,crime,prices, taxes, all of it. My wife and I are planing on moving away in the spring of 2011. I can not wait! I try to get out of Chicago on a weekend getaway at least once a month because i am so sick of it.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mr60233

      Opps sorry, Typo, it should read Spring of 2012.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • Oprah's Mooseknuckle

      Thanks for correcting the typo. I will make sure to mark it in my calendar – "Spring 2012, two more worthless trolls leave great city in favor of a cultural and intellectual void."

      June 22, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Small towns can be nice, but they aren't for everyone. I prefer the anonimity of the city. My mother lives in a small town, and everyone is into everyone else's business.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  11. nushatka

    Food for thought: nations that are "stressed" by cooler climates are better developed. Maybe stress is not all that bad. Moderation is the key to balance and prosperity; unfortunately some of us refuse to take responsibility and moderate the amount of stress we are exposed to.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Alison

    I personally love living in the city. Granted, I technically live in a suburb but I'm close enough to have a city address. I couldn't live in really rural areas. It's a personal preference. But those places are great to get away to!

    June 22, 2011 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. lesley

    cities suck!

    June 22, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nathan

    We stress other people, and other people stress us. We are simultaneously stressors and stressees. We should have only a small group of trusted friends we are comfortable around who think and believe as we do, and we should live as a tribe in the country and reject the outside world. We should be Amish.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. DoubleTap

    I love city life! you walk everywhere- parks, stores, cultural events- all that exercise reduces stress! now in the suburbs, you're driving in traffic, or driving everywhere and getting fat, diabetes, etc- worried about the next door neighbor being a unibomber or a pedophile- the city is where the action is baby!

    June 22, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Melissa

    The first thing is that this is not a valid scientific study. Any scientists, or statistician will tell you this study proves NOTHING. Why? Because too few people were studied over too few number of times and locations. It has also NOT been peer reviewed.

    So the study is invalid until other studies can back it up.

    Second thing, of course people are more stressed in cities. Anyone using their brain for more than "eat", "sleep" and "have s e.. x" will know that. There's a higher crime rate, traffic is aggravating, and the politicians often spend alot of time playing favorites while the police tend to concentrate more on getting tickets for break tags than they do trying to stop the insane driving during rush hour, or trying to stop crime, and money goes toward building running tracks near some locations while they neglect some areas of the city that desperately need the pot holes fixed.

    Btw, all of those are happening in my city right now.

    Yes, city living in MUCH more stressful.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DoubleTap

      then move out of Detroit

      June 22, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • Back2Basics

      You must be a fat chick

      June 22, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I don't live in Detroit. I live in New Orleans.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      And btw, we are trying to move out of New Orleans, but finding a job elsewhere is difficult in this economy.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • A

      I'm pretty sure Nature is a peer-reviewed journal. The author instructions on their website describe the peer review process for this journal. If you have evidence that it's not, please share it, and I'll retract my statement.

      And while it's true that this is a small sample size that can't be generalized to the total population, it's an interesting finding that supports future work using a statistically significant sample size.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • Chris Christie

      Back2Basics – you must be an imbecile.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
  17. Jim F

    Huh?!? Someone had to do a study that shows there is more stress in cities? What a waste of time. How about a study to see if you hold someone's head under water long enough if they drown? You can't be sure. Better do a study!

    June 22, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. blah9999

    I grew up in a small town in Vt and moved to Boston recently... Let me tell you how accurate this is

    June 22, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jackie

    A few years ago I decided to quit living like overcrowded lab mice in a box. I moved out of the city. Physical stress symptoms disappeared. I avoid the big cities as much as I can. If I need to venture to one I get so frenzied I don't enjoy myself until I am on the road home.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Ryan

    Also, people who live in rural or suburban areas should never ever drive in the city, because they take too @^*#ing long to make decisions and lack confidence in getting through traffic. they also shouldn't walk in the city, because they are fat and slow and stop to look at stupid window displays. basically, get out of my way, i have stuff to do.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      And then there's Ryan. Another reason not to live in the city.

      June 22, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yeah, everyone...get out of Ryan's way. He's got stuff to do. Like, get to the Starbucks and check his Twitter account. Or meet his other punk-a$$ friends at the mall, where they can stand around getting in people's way at the entrance kicking their hacky sacks around. You know...important stuff.


      June 22, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
    • Corvus1

      God forbid people be out for a walk to do things like *gasp* sightsee and shop.

      June 22, 2011 at 21:50 | Report abuse |
  21. Jim F

    PS: this new way to post to CNN where you just post directly (versus logging in, then trying to link to facebook or twitter or something else (and it never seemed to work right)) is MUCH better! 🙂

    June 22, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Lizq

    I've always been a city girl, but moved to a small town for school. The scenery was nice, but my stress level went up the wall. For me, living in such an isolated, enclosed town was suffocating. Maybe it was just college in general, but I think the fact that I was in a small town enlarged the stress. I like feeling connected to the world.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Big City Bob

      I am an imbred redneck from Arkansas and I lived in NYC for a few years. The main problem with city's is the lack of close relatives to sleep with, they don't like their first cousins because there are other people to date. I am now living in a small town in Mississippi where there are plenty of family members to date, and we all look, talk, and think alike. Now that is what I call a diverse bunch of redneck's! Yehaaaaaaaa

      June 22, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Well...I'm a ret-ard from the City, much like our friend "Big City Bob" here. The main problem I see with living in the "Big City" is that others like our ret-arded friend Bob don't seem to know very simple English. For example...

      1. Despite the fact that in-bred sounds like it's pronounced with an "M", it's actually pronounced and spelled with an "N". A very simple analysis of the root meaning of the word should have been a clue. "To breed within" or to IN-breed.

      2. The plural form of City is Cities, not City's. The use of an apostrophe either indicates ownership or it can be used to combine two simple words into one word. I'll use an example for each...
      a. Bob's small brain is apparent from his lack of understanding of the English language.
      b. Instead of saying, "It is annoying to listen to city people talk", one could say..."It's annoying to listen to city people talk".

      3. The plural form of redneck is rednecks, not redneck's. Yes Bob, it is OK grammatically to use an "S" on the end of a word without exploiting the poor apostrophe.

      Next time Bob, you might want to pick up a certain book. It's called, a D-I-C-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y. You can pick one up in virtually any country book store.


      June 23, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  23. TJ Smith

    Living in a city isn't stressful to me. I find I walk a lot more in areas with large downtowns. Yes, there is increased traffic, but there's usually increased infrastructure (busses and subways). Plus, I'd much rather be able to get takeout at midnight than have the sidewalks roll up at 6pm.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. No Countryboy

    Are you kidding! I moved from the DC burbs to a town with one stop light. I HATE IT! My neighbors in the DC area were much friendlier, had better educated and well mannered kids, and didn't drive rattle bucket trailer trash pickups that you need a ladder to get inside.

    They didn't cut their grass at 7 am on a Sunday morning, shoot fireworks late at night for a month after the 4th of July.
    If the economy ever gets better, I am outta Hooterville.

    I have no idea why my wife wanted to move to the country. She's even coming around to leaving this horrible little bedroom community. It's more like a nightmare community.

    June 22, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Harry

    Like operating a farm in the sticks is stress free... lol....

    June 22, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vegano

      Hahah truth...

      June 22, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  26. Ian

    ugh... just because there is a correlation doesn't mean it is cause/effect. Someone here said they grew up in a stress-free rural area and now live stressfully in a city. I would guess that's because being a kid is a relatively stress-free lifestyle...

    June 22, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bob in St. Louis

    Depends on what your accustomed to,I lived in the city my entire life and moving out to the sticks and cornfields at age 45 is nothing but extraordinaraly irritating!

    June 22, 2011 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Dave

    I live in NYC and don't find it stressful whatsoever. I lived in the country for two years and the opposite was true. I was stressed out about car bills and money for oil; I had a very long drive each morning and night.
    In the city, I walk to the subway station or train, take a ten minute ride, and I'm at my job. I don't worry about "security" issues because my building is in a large, safe neighborhood (which most of Manhattan is). If I want something to eat at ten at night and the fridge is empty, I just walk downstairs and there is a grocery store next door.
    The art, culture, and nightlife here is amazing. There is always something to do.
    The only thing I miss about the country is hiking, which I do every weekend anyhow by taking the train upstate each weekend.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. vegano

    The city is for real people, love it (Boston)

    June 22, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Shane

    I grew up in small town USA but moved to a medium sized city (1.5 million metro population) for college and then to a larger city (5.5 million metro population) after graduating. I must say that there are pro's and con's about both situations. I would say that city living is much more stressful than rural living, but it also offers many benefits that rural areas cannot provide. This is my personal view and I do not necessarily agree that it's the same for everyone. I would assume that if you grew up in the city then the things that stress people out about big cities would not stress that person as much because it seems normal to them. One of the worst things about a big city is traffic. It doesn't necessarily stress me out, it just ticks me off sometimes.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Indian

    I live suburbs of Pittsburgh. Did not like very much. Very old city though people are very good. I wish I live in Manhatten.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. i_like_cities

    you suck

    June 22, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Brian

    I live in a South Texas medium sized city, but constantly crave the excitement and convenience of a larger city. It's easier to walk from place to place in a bigger city. I spent some time in NYC and LOVED IT! It was absolutely incredible and envy every New Yorker that gets to wake up every day and dive into hustle and bustle of daily life. I wish I lived there even though I know I would never be able to afford it. 1400 square feet for $2 million–no thanks 😦

    June 22, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Bobbyjo

    Inner... Inner-City... Inner-City Pressare

    June 22, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sandy

    They're assuming a causal relationship: that living in the city CAUSES stress. Maybe high-strung, driven people prefer city life and move there; and low-key, laid-back people move out to the country. That would skew the results. News stories of epidemiological reports always imply causation even when there is no evidence of it.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      The studies would have been better if they looked at people RAISED in cities. The decision would be their parents'.

      June 23, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  36. xmik50

    I am almost 60. I've known this since I was 30. That's why I"ve never wanted to live in the city but I enjoy going to the city occasionally. I've never felt it was a healthy environment in which to raise children. I'm not a rocket scientist nor a neurologist so if I've know this for almost 30 years wouldn't you supose that millions of other people also know it? It's hardly a surprise but I guess the ones who don't know it need an expensive study to prove it.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. mark in nyc

    i'd rather live in the city than any small town or the country any day. and yes......i'm a manhattanite.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • city girl

      me, too – woo hoo! and i get some of the appeal of brooklyn, and to a lesser extent queens (sorry, qns!), but i can't see moving out of The City unless or until i have to (financially). for one, i think adding a longer commute adds stress and compromises quality of life big time. time – it's important to have. i've never been for long commutes in houston, austin, or here in nyc. always want to be in the inner city, not the 'burbs.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
    • D

      city girl-Queens is in the house here! More diversity than any other part of the country.

      June 23, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
  38. David

    I moved to Washington, DC, 9-months ago, left my car in Portland, OR. I walk, take the Metro or bus. My cholesterol is down 29 points. I was raised on a Mid-West farm. Mostly I think the stress is the driving and long commutes. If you live in rural areas, but have to commute long hours for a job, I think you will be stressed. Work on a farm or in a small town, no long commutes no stress.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. pj

    Bah. I lived in NYC for 12 years and leaving there was the dumbest thing I ever did. I've been way more stressed in the crappy places I've lived since, because nothing can compare to The Center Of The Universe in terms of intellectual stimulation. BOREDOM leads to stress, and there no way to ever be bored in NYC!!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Plus_one

      I'm putting a plan in order to get to NYC myself. I can't wait to get there.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • city girl


      June 22, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  40. Mike

    City people are always angry which makes them ugly.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Plus_one

    I grew up in a small town.
    Moved to a city, LOVED IT.
    My wife got a good job in a rural area so we moved back to the country.
    I've never been more miserable in my life than I am in this steaming pile of anti-civilization.
    I'm already plotting how to get out and go back where people are tolerant and not nearly as hateful.
    People in cities are rude, yes, but its because they have things to do and places to be.
    People in the country are polite, but always with that undertone of hatred.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • city girl

      i find the whole rude new yorker thing such a myth. people are more readily available and willing to connect here, they interact daily. sometimes i appreciate the "manners" of other places, coming from texas, but by the same token i have experienced that the niceties are superficial most of the time. people here in nyc are the most truly genuine, friendly and generous i have ever known. you understand community and common ground so much more when you are involved with your fellow man – in myriad forms – on a daily basis. tis a beautiful thing. so many opportunities to grow and learn and be a better person here.

      June 22, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • D

      city girl-I agree with you! NYers are also some of the funniest people in the country. You need a sense of humor to survive there and it really develops some character.

      June 23, 2011 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  42. Thanh Le

    Let listen to music to help your brain everyday !

    June 22, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. jjj4567

    I wonder if they city dwellers, and the rural folks had different sleep habits.

    I lived in cities most of my life, but then in my 30's moved to the suburbs. When I made this move my sleeping patterns changed. I never really slept well in the city; there was always noise and changes in light. In the suburbs I fall asleep and usually stay asleep. This one thing changed me considerably. And I am left wondering how many city dwellers are like me, and don't sleep well with the noise and light. When I move back to the city, I will have a white noise machine and black out window treatments.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sam

    All you that are touting NYC as the Center of the Universe, best place to be alive, etc... sure, if you can afford thousands a month for a small shoe box way overpriced apartment, just to say you live in NYC. It's kind of STRESSFUL if you barely make ends meet and can't find a better paying job, because there are millions others clamoring for the same better paying job. Living here has been the most stressful two years of my life and I can't wait to get out. Perhaps I will come back when I become a multi-millionaire. Speak for yourselves when you say how UNstressful it is here. Others may not be so fortune to be raking in the big bucks to afford the good quality of life you are very misleadingly telling everyone is here.

    June 22, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Meh

    I have lived in both rural and city (Boston,Miami). Each have their pro's and con's. I live in rural/suburban area now and I'm still stressed...maybe because I'm a Police Officer though. I think it's the job =P

    June 22, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. missy

    I grew up in Philadelphia now live South of LA in Long Beach and love it.
    I think it also has something to do with where you were born and raised.

    June 22, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Demos

    There's a lot of smoke and hot air with this report, however I see some fire.

    June 22, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. DCE

    Ok... It may just be a matter of how you are made up (wired). My wife loves NYC and has lived there for many years. I am from Texas and find it incredibly stressful. My opinion is that it's truly expensive, noisy and I feel like after walking around for an hour I have put a full day in at Six Flags. We now live in upstate New York and visiting it occasionally has made it somewhat enjoyable for me. I do encourage people to visit. It truly is a place to experience on that level.

    June 22, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Sorry but you sound out of shape.

      June 23, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  49. banzai

    live at home in your parents basement....

    June 22, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Stress from country living if you're in VT

    How about doing a study on the stresses of the ever backwards Vermont. Housing costs are high (try renting in Burlington, you'll get a shack for $1500/month, utilities are high, Vermont chases away business, mainly low paying low skill jobs, high taxes, so many building restrictions they want people to live in the woods. It's country living with city stress. Almost moved there until I saw how backwards the elected officials are about development and industry. When I was visiting once I was reading the local Burlington newspaper. A lady wanted to tear down a house on her property because there were drug problems and unsavory people hanging out there, but the city wanted her to build a new house to replace it. She could not afford that so the city denied her request and instead made her keep the crack house. Awesome!!! Absolute idiots running Vermont.

    June 22, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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