Many people are taking steps to take the stress out of their lives. They’re meditating or doing yoga. They’re making changes to the structure of their lives, to the people they choose to include in their lives, or to their careers. They’re even eating differently and exercising.
While these things are great to look at in terms of stress reduction, there’s one area of life that should also be considered: the place a person chooses to call home. Variables such as housing costs, employment opportunities, median pay rates, access to the outdoors, traffic patterns, access to fresh food, and more can significantly increase or decrease the stress in someone’s life.
Below is a list of the top five most stressful cities in the U.S. Keep in mind that these results are based on a limited poll of 3,000 American city-dwellers that was conducted on behalf of Canada Dry Ginger Ale by the firm One Poll. It’s likely that more comprehensive research would need to be conducted to thoroughly understand the stress rates in U.S. cities. However, if you’re looking to manage stress in your life, you may not want to put down roots in these places— at least for now.
1: Los Angeles
Some people may be surprised that Los Angeles was listed as a more stressful place to live than New York City. However, the housing costs and commuting times in Los Angeles and the surrounding metro area can understandably put a dent in residents’ peace of mind and more than 76 percent of respondents indicating they’re stressed at least part of the time. Good thing that residents have access to plenty of beachfront areas and lots of sunshine to counter their grind.
2: New York
The stereotypical New Yorker is known for rapid-fire speech, a fast-paced life, clenched body language, and raised voice that fully embodies their stress. The results of Canada Dry’s poll, indicating that 72 percent of New Yorkers are stressed out every day, place the city at number two on the list and bear this stereotype out. The poll went so far as to identify specific places in New York City that raises blood pressure the most. That place was Times Square, followed closely by Grand Central Station. New Yorkers looking for calm in the chaos of stress should take care to find other spots to spend time in. Maybe Central Park or a Museum?
Chicago is holding its own in the number three spot of most stressed-out US Cities with 65 percent of its residents indicating that they’re stressed out for at least some part of every day. While most locations in the Mid-west have the reputation of being more low-key, Chicagoans grapple with higher than desirable unemployment rates and longer commutes.
With its proximity to the palm-tree lined sandy beaches, relaxing nightclubs and great food, you’d think that living in Miami would be more like a vacation than a stress-trap. However, the opposite may be true. According to Canada Dry’s survey. 64 percent of residents polled indicated they were stressed for at least part of their day, putting the city at number 4 on the list.
Dallas is another city on the list of the five most stressful U.S. cities with 48 percent of poll respondents in this area indicated they have some stress each day. Apparently, the airport and DMV are huge contributors to metro stress here, with respondents naming them as the place most likely to raise their blood pressure. Residents also complain about overcrowding and related traffic and parking problems because so many people have flocked to the city as a place to call home.
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