Living in the city has long been hailed as the holy grail and what all people must aspire to, but is it really all that? Just one weekend spent in rural areas belies this argument. Here are some key benefits of countryside living.
The further out into the countryside you go, the better the air quality. It’s all fresh air and big green spaces. There is far less air pollution and a greater abundance of trees and plants. Air pollution is linked to a variety of health conditions including respiratory problems, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Noise pollution in urban areas is also detrimental to well-being. It decreases cognitive functions making the brain less able to retain information and control impulses.
The cost of housing in urban areas can be prohibitively high. House prices in the countryside are far lower which is an attraction for many people. The high cost of housing is a big stressor for a majority of the population in cities. It’s not just the houses that are cheaper, but the overall cost of living is lower.
Living in the countryside comes with the added benefit of eating fresh, healthy food either from your own gardening efforts or from those of your neighbours. You get to eat fresh and tasty locally sourced food that is cheaper than what you would buy in some urban supermarket. You also eat far more than you eat out because of the limited places to eat out.
Space and privacy
Houses in the countryside are spread far apart which can afford you a sense of privacy. There’s also more space available and scenic views to boot compared to the cramped-up living situation in most urban areas. If you have children, this space is a place to play which is something that’s sorely lacking in many urban areas.
Stronger sense of community
Urban areas for all their dense population are often lonely places, lacking any sense of togetherness. The countryside on the other hand has a shared sense of community where people socialize, interact and engage more. Paradoxically, rural living where your neighbours are not as physically close to you as they would be in an urban area can help tackle sentiments of loneliness.
Women living in the countryside are more likely to have healthier pregnancies than women in urban areas. Women in urban areas, particularly those living near a concentration of main roads and highways are more likely to go into premature labour than their counterparts living in rural areas. One study found that the pregnancies of city dwellers were shortened by an average of 4.4%.
Outdoor activity and exercise
Living in the countryside includes a lot of walking and ready exercise. No need to drive to some park to hike, the trail begins right at your front door if you so choose.
People living in the countryside are less likely to be the victims of major crimes with most just being petty crimes involving theft of things like utensils and clothes. Crime can happen anywhere but people in urban areas are more likely to experience things like aggravated assault and robbery with violence.
Mental health benefits
So much about living in the countryside support better mental health. The lower cost of living decreases daily life stressors. The air is cleaner, and nature abounds from birds chirping in the morning to greenery all around and getting to see the stars at night. The sights and smells of nature can help slow you down and make you more mindful.
Scientists believe that living in urban areas overstimulates potentially harmful regions in the brain that regulate emotions and anxiety. This is likely why people in rural areas have a lower risk of anxiety and mood disorders. People often move to rural areas for the calm and slower pace of life which decreases stress. There’s also a greater sense of community which is great for your mental health.
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