There have been numerous studies over the years relating to happiness. It’s fair to say that happiness itself is one of the most subjective concepts there is and how one defines happiness can vary greatly from person to person. In addition to this, it’s also extremely difficult to quantify happiness save for a customer survey here or there. In any case, what these studies have shown us is that people are unquestionably happier and less stressed after moving to the countryside. But what is it about the countryside that gets the blood pumping and the serotonin levels rising? Or do we simply leave our worries and troubles behind in the concrete jungle of the city?
What do the stats say?
Estate agent Yopa conducted a poll amongst UK homeowners and found that 31 percent of people who live in the countryside consider themselves to be “mostly happy” compared to just 25 percent of city inhabitants. In addition to this, a further 18 percent of people who live within the city admit to being stressed with only 16 percent of country dwellers reporting the same. Of course, these figures aren’t drastically different and it’s also important to consider the sample sizes used. However, these studies have been undertaken by different organisations across many different locations for years and all have thrown up the same sort of results. Is it purely coincidental? Or is there something more to it?
If country folk are truly happier and less stressed than those who live in the city then this could well be because of nature itself. As explained in Lottoland’s guide to happiness, fresh air increases oxygen levels in our brain and simply observing natural surroundings can trigger happiness and emotional stability. It’s also worth pointing out that the air is generally cleaner in the country than the city and scientists believe that air pollution has a bigger effect than we first thought on our happiness. Statistically, there’s also less crime in the country and those within the city often work more the more stressful jobs involving long commutes. Ultimately, the reasons behind local variations when it comes to happiness are complex and could include any one (or more) of myriad reasons.
Location, Location, Location
The countryside is a broad term which, quite literally, covers a lot of area. In the same vein, “the city” is generally used nowadays to denote a place which has two Starbucks within 200 metres of each other. In any case, no one place is the same and there are a number of different factors to take into consideration when assessing your own happiness. Whilst countryside folk may be happier than city dwellers on average, it’s important to be happy within yourself first and foremost. However, there’s no competing with the rolling views, occasional farm animals and mountain breeze that comes with living in the countryside. And it’s never too late to up sticks and move there. Just saying.
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