Living in a metropolis can be exciting as it is packed with culture and exciting experiences. For instance, as an urbanite, I enjoy things like local coffee shops, walking to quaint, meeting people from different backgrounds, and attending cultural events. However, living in a metropolis has some disadvantages.
For example, as an urbanite, I find it difficult to socialize with my suburban friends because of heavy traffic. Other downsides include noise pollution, crowded public transport, and paying about 15 dollars to watch a movie. I know that these may seem like small annoyances, Trusted Sources show that the downsides of city life can negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health. Living in a metropolis can take a big toll on your mental health. According to studies, those who live in urban areas are 39% more likely to have mood disorders and 21% more likely to have anxiety disorders than people living in rural areas.
A 2017 meta-analysis Trusted Source found that rates of these mental health conditions were higher among urbanites:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Anger management
It also found that the rates of serious psychological disorders including paranoia and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists say that this is because living in urban areas gives the brain a workout hence altering how a person copes with stress. Urban life can propel a person’s body into a stressful state, called the fight-or-flight response. This makes a person vulnerable to mental health concerns like substance use, anxiety, and depression. This is why 19.1% of Americans live with an anxiety disorder while 6.7% have depression.
Living in the city can also negatively affect your psychological immune system, which can be risky for those with a family history of mental illness. Psychologists say that this environmental stress can increase their risk of developing a psychiatric condition like bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. With that said here are some of the best places for expats to live.
Although urban life may cause emotional distress, young adults may find it difficult to talk about their struggles because of shame and stigma. As such, they feel lonelier than older generations, according to a Cigna study. Besides, young adults, especially millennials, usually feel burnout a stressful state of physical and mental exhaustion that can deny a person joy in their life. Older people may see young people (millennials) as incompetent adults who do not like to take responsibility. However, Anne Helen Peterson wrote for Buzzfeed that millennials have “errand paralysis” and think they should always be working. This belief may be intensified among those young adults who live in those cities that never sleep. This adds to the drawbacks of living in the city.
Urban life can also affect the quality of your sleep and cardiovascular health.
Apart from affecting a person’s mental well-being, urban life can affect your physical health. According to a 2017 study, too much exposure to air pollution and city noise can negatively affect your cardiovascular health.
Traffic noise can affect sleep quality and increase the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. As time goes by, increased cortisol levels can increase a person’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Urbanites are more likely to have insomnia and sleep problems. A survey conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that the bright lights of a city can prevent a person from getting a good night’s sleep.
The survey found that 6% of people who live in highly lit, urban areas sleep less than 6 hours every night. The researchers also found that 29% of these people who live in urban areas are not satisfied with their sleep quality. Therefore, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep in the city and this can cause serious health consequences. Keep in mind that a good night’s sleep enables your body to recover and therefore helps you wake up refreshed and inadequate sleep is not good for your health.