Stressing Out? Check Out These Stress-Free Cities in California!

posted by RJ Johnson @rickerthewriter - 

Stress-free living in the United States

Life is stressful. Everyone at some point knows what it's like, and some even thrive on it (it's called acute stress). Psychology Today says "A little bit of stress, known as ‘acute stress,’ can be exciting—it keeps us active and alert." 

But, when stress becomes unmanageable, it can turn into 'chronic stress' which can turn into health problems and loss of productivity. In the U.S., more than 100 million people say they're affected by stress at some point in their life. 

What causes stress for people? Money is the overwhelming choice for many, while work, family and relationships share the rest of the top five. One estimate says workplace-related stress costs the U.S. more than $300 billion per year

But experts say there are things you can do to relieve that stress. Some recommendations include people taking time to mediate, taking time off and recharging your batteries, and managing stress through support systems. 

Failing all that, you could always move (that is, if you're up to the stress of moving). WalletHub compiled a list of cities that handle stress the best, and the ones that are stressing out their residents. 

Fortunately for us here in California, the least-stressed city in the nation is fairly close to home. WalletHub's survey found that thanks to the city's claim to having the lowest divorce rate in the nation (10 percent) Fremont, CA (182) is filled with lots of stress-free residents. Here in Southern California, Irvine (176), Garden Grove (148), Santa Clarita (122) were ranked as two great places to kick up your heels and forget your problems. 

The most stressful city in America? You might think it's in a pressure-cooker like New York City (47) Washington, D.C. (31) or Los Angeles (56), but in fact, Detroit, Michigan took the top spot for the most stressed-out residents. Newark, NJ, Cleveland, OH, Birmingham, AL and Toledo, OH rounded out the rest of the top five. 

WalletHub determined the most stressful cities across America by looking at 37 key metrics that included things like a resident's average weekly work hours, debt load, to divorce and suicide rates. 

But if you don't plan on moving anytime soon, there are ways to melt that stress away. Since money is one of the biggest stresses for people, assistant professor of Psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South, John K. Coffey II recommends the best way for people who find managing their finances difficult is to create a detailed budget. 

"People can be budget adverse, but it does reduce stress. Using an app can also help to manage this on a daily basis. People think that a raise will solve their finances problems, but they eventually adapt to their new income and are back in the same spot unless they budget," said Coffey.  

When it comes to families stressing us out, Coffey recommends that people should spend time creating routines and traditions, like a weekly dinner, or movie nights to create predictibility. 

"They should also have unplugged time where they actively interact with each other (e.g. game nights, going to the park). These can build communication s kills and family connections," Coffey says. "All families experience tension, but avoiding them can make it worse."

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