The Least Stressful Cities in the United States

The Least Stressful Cities Of 2020 Boise, Idaho Photographer Brad Pearson

Most Laid Back Cities: Are You On This List?

Life can be an exhilarating journey – time spent with family and friends, building a business, engaging in exciting hobbies, learning new skills. But life can also be very demanding on our bodies and minds with stress taking its toll often when we are not even aware. Sometimes we may experience headaches, difficulty sleeping, or general fatigue, and feel that these conditions are just a part of life. Although a myriad of issues could cause these symptoms, there are steps you can take to reduce the impacts on your life when it comes to stress.

Below we will look at The Least Stressful Cities Of 2020 to see what we can learn about how to live less stressed. But first, let's talk about what is stress and how does it affect you.

What is Stress and How it Affects You

In simple terms, stress is your body's reaction to a dangerous situation; it is your body's way of protecting itself. Sometimes this response can serve us well, like when we need to meet a deadline at work; it gives us the motivation to push through. Other times, the repetitive stress actions are like a fire alarm being pulled when there is no actual emergency. When your heart rate and blood pressure are continually rising, and your muscles are frequently tightening, this can cause long-term problems.

Although everyone handles stress differently, chronic exposure to stress can adversely affect emotional and physical health, including diminishing the ability to think clearly and behave in ways that are beneficial for overall well-being. Knowing that, let's take a look at The Least Stressful Cities Of 2020!

Top 5 Least Stressful Cities Of 2020

Though there is no such thing as a stress-free life, there are places in the United States where people are living lives that are less stressed.

WalletHub conducted a study to uncover where Americans were coping the best. To do this, they 'compared more than 180 cities across 42 key metrics.' A 100-point scale was used to grade each metric, with 100 representing the highest level of stress. The key dimensions they looked at were: (1) work stress, (2) financial stress, (3) family stress, and (4) health and safety stress.

So, what cities came out on top? The top 5 cities with low stress are:

  1. Lincoln, NE
  2. Boise, ID
  3. Sioux Falls, SD
  4. Fargo, ND
  5. Overland Park, KS

But, why? What Makes These Cities In The U.S Less Stressful?

But have no fear, no need to pack your bags if you don't live in any of these states. Although these states are in the Midwestern region of the U.S., there may be information that we can learn about how citizens in these states approach life that can benefit anyone looking to reduce stress. Whether or not slower-paced living is a myth or reality in the midwest, there was one thing that all of these cities had in common, except for Lincoln, NE, and that was that they had the highest average hours of sleep per night.

Focus on What You Can Control

You may wonder if getting adequate sleep is something that can dramatically affect your overall health. The answer is a resounding 'YES!' According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults do not get enough sleep. This lack of sufficient sleep is linked to increased rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. On the other hand, getting the proper sleep keeps your heart healthy, may prevent cancer, and reduces stress. If you want to know 10 easy ways to improve your sleep, you can read it here. 

But the significance of these findings is not just that people in these cities are getting more sleep – because increasing your sleep time is not the magic bullet that is going to solve all your problems. There are many external factors that the study examined, such as crime rates, affordable housing, and the poverty rate that is generally out of peoples' control, and sleeping more will not alleviate these issues. But by focusing on factors that you can control, such as implementing better sleep habits, you can obtain many of the benefits above and live a less stressful life.

How You Can Live Less Stressed No Matter Where You Call Home

Besides getting more sleep, here are some ways you can take control of your situation and be healthier every day. No matter where you reside, you can adapt the principles of midwestern living by proactively discovering what works for you.

Take Time to Slow Down

No matter where you live, the constant connection to technology and social media can sometimes leave you drained. But even if you're not accustomed to slower-paced living, there are actions you can take that can help you recharge and avoid getting burned out. Maybe you should try meditation.

  • Meditation – Implementing a meditation practice into your life can help your mind to focus on the present.

Change Your Perspective

Sometimes we may see the glass as half empty instead of half full. Our perspectives can significantly impact the way we feel about ourselves, our abilities, and what we can accomplish. If you are a city dweller, you may not have access to wide-open spaces that lend to contemplation. Occasionally, you may feel frustrated because you view your living conditions as cramped. Maybe you should try gratitude.

  • Gratitude – Practicing gratitude can be a game-changer that allows you to shift your perspective by training your brain to be more positive. 

Maintain Good Eating Habits Too

When you are busy, it can be challenging to consistently give attention to eating healthy. But good eating habits go hand in hand with other measures you take for overall health. So, whether at home or on the go, here are some foods you can try.

There are no easy fixes to rid your life of stress, but you can take steps that will greatly minimize the impact that stress has on your life and your enjoyment.