Residents of America’s Finest City really know how to chill out -- and live young. They earned the top spot for cities with the least stress, and for good reason. San Diego boasts some of the highest rates of optimism and exercise, thanks to year-round beautiful weather and serene beaches. “Exercise is a great way for most people to relieve stress,” says Roach. “It lowers cortisol and baseline epinephrine.” Other factors that contribute to San Diego’s laid-back attitude and overall good health are the city’s low rates of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, both activities that people tend to do when they're stressed out.
A couple factors help rank Austin as the second mellowest city in America. The city's healthy employment rate -- Austin ranks second in employment among RealAge Cities -- certainly helps. “There’s a direct correlation between losing your job and stress,” says Roach. “People who are unemployed have an older RealAge than those who are fully employed.” Residents of the Live Music Capital of the World may also thank the 250 music venues for their lack of stress. Studies show that listening to music can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune cell count and reduce levels of stress hormones.
Managing stress seems to be one of the few things Kansas City residents are doing right to stay young and healthy. They rank highly in a host of unhealthy habits, including poor eating habits, high smoking rates and not getting enough sleep. Whether it’s all that soothing Kansas City jazz music, upscale shopping (retail therapy can be a great stress reliever!) or camaraderie around sports teams, residents don’t let stress get the best of them.
Residents of California’s state capital are diligent about managing stress. For starters, Sacramento is one of the top cities for exercise, which is a great way to cope with stress. Residents here also have some of the lowest rates of diabetes and hypertension (both conditions that can stem from chronic stress). Even better, they have low rates of C-reactive protein, a marker of disease-causing inflammation that's worsened by stress. Plus, Sacramento residents rank in the top 10 for healthy mouths -- another sign that they stay on top of stress.
While being able to manage stress can make your RealAge younger, high levels of chronic stress can make your RealAge older. Find out where residents are the most stressed and see where they rank in our Youngest and Oldest Cities in America list.
It is not uncommon for people to experience stress and anxiety during select periods in their lives. Having a positive attitude, taking a balanced approach to life's ups and downs, and using relaxation exercises are just some of t...he ways that people can alleviate stress and anxiety. More