Study Reveals Living in the City May Age Your Brain

By EmilyM

While many city dwellers find it hard to imagine living anywhere else, research has found that urban residents are aging their brains. For many, the hustle and bustle of the busy city life may be part of the appeal of choosing this type of lifestyle.

According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and reported by CNN, being enthralled in the city life can make it more difficult to remember things. The reasons for this are many, but particularly believed to come from the inability to focus completely on anything when there are multiple distractions involved. In city life these distractions can be flashing lights, honking horns or a variety of stimuli that has an overwhelming effect on the senses.

In order to test the impact of city life on concentration and brain function, two groups of students were compiled. One group was sent to the city for a day and the other was sent to a more rural location. After that, both groups were tested for attention span and mood. Those who had spent the day in the suburbs were noticeably less stressed and were better able to recall certain events.

So if you are a city dweller, what can you do to give your brain a rest every now and again?

Here are 5 ways that you can take a break from the busy multi-tasking city life. With the holidays right around the corner, more stress is in the forecast, so now is the time to take a break.

1. Read a book: Reading a book gives your mind some exercise while allowing you to focus on one thing. Instead of reading in a park, coffeehouse or anywhere that there are multiple things going on at once, try and find a quiet place to spend your relaxation time.

2. Exercise: Many people find that exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It allows for the aggravation or over-stimulation of the brain to release itself.

3. Put away the cell phone, computer or any other distraction: Take time to have just one stimuli at once. Often we rely on email, text messages and a variety of technological gadgets to communicate with one another. Take the time to have a conversation with a friend or loved one without the distraction of anything else.

4. Write in a journal: If you feel you can’t remember anything, perhaps writing in a journal is a good way to recall the events of the day and also a good exercise for jogging your memory. Even if you typically do not enjoy writing, you may find that by jotting things down and being forced to remember the little things from the day can help your concentration.

5. Take a trip to the suburbs: Even though the fast-pace of city living is what makes so many people love it, it’s important to take a break now and again to let the calm quietness of the suburbs relax your thoughts. When you feel particularly worked up, try taking a weekend or even an afternoon to unwind.

What are your favorite ways to unwind? Do you feel particularly stressed when you are in the city?