Photo: Rex USA.
Is there happiness in greenery? "Naturally," nature lovers will insist. Even proud city dwellers long for weekends away from their so-called concrete jungle. And now, studies back the idea that living in the city negatively impacts the way we handle social stress and generally make us more vulnerable to unhappiness. But, there are solutions, and they don't have to involve surrendering to suburbia. Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School studied the mental health of 1,000 British people over the course of six years and examined the correlation between where they lived and their level of happiness. They found that those who lived near a "natural space" in an urban environment experienced "significantly better" mental health up to three years after they moved.
"Unlike many other changes in life circumstances, where effects on mental health can be short-lived, moving to a greener urban area was associated with sustained mental-health gains," the researchers wrote in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology journal. Long story short: If you want to be happy but aren't ready to retire to a cabin in the woods just yet, consider living near a park or planting a garden. Or, if nothing else, just get a houseplant. (Co.Design)