Are you looking to move?
There are many factors to consider before uprooting your life and making that big move: cost of living, proximity to family, and good schools are just a few of those factors. Some people want fall foliage, while others want to ensure they never experience another winter ever again. Then there are people who want to be close to nightlife and theater and those who prefer quiet towns not overrun by twenty Starbucks.
Still, for others, a new consideration when deciding where to move is the stress factor.
That’s right. A new study reveals which states are the most stressful to live in. And some of the top contenders might even surprise you.
You Need to Relax
According to a study by ProVape, an online vape retailer run by real vapers, the most relaxed state in the United States is Hawaii. Pulling from data in Google Trends, ProVape was able to compare each state based on the search frequency for the terms “anxiety,” “depression,” and “stress.”
Taking the average score for each state across the three search terms was then used to generate an overall score out of 100, called the “stress score.”
“The island state of Hawaii had the lowest search frequencies for the terms anxiety and depression, which scored 57 and 60 respectively,” says the report. The 50th state produced a stress score of 60.666.
Hawaii for the Win
In analyzing these findings, a spokesperson for ProVape had this to say: “Hawaii is known for its spotless beaches, unparalleled surf, and fantastic weather, and perhaps this all contributes to why the state has such a low-stress score.”
The most relaxed states or provinces after Hawaii include the District of Columbia, Wyoming, Nebraska, Alaska, and Montana. By one point, Wyoming edged out Hawaii with the least individual searches for the word “stress” but had higher searches for anxiety and depression with scores of 67 and 69, respectively.
“Perhaps more surprising is Washington D.C. ranking as the second most chilled place in the U.S. considering the number of people there working in high-pressure government jobs,” explained ProVape’s spokesperson.
Okay, but Where Are the Most Stressful Places to Live?
ProVape’s study revealed that the most stressful state to live in is Connecticut, which earned a stress score of 94.333. In each individual category, Connecticut scored 95 for anxiety, 88 for depression, and 100 for stress. It is the only state to score a 100 in the stress category.
The other most stressful states to live in are Utah, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Utah scored the highest in depression with a 100, while Kentucky scored a 100 for anxiety.
Surprising still that states with major metropolitan cities such as New York, California, and Massachusetts fell more in the middle, with New York the 18th most relaxed, California the 28th, and 35th most relaxed.
What Do These Numbers Mean for Me?
Nearly three years after the Covid-19 pandemic first shut the world down, we are still analyzing the effects of a global quarantine, a deadly virus, and a significant overhaul of how life as we know it functions.
For many, the pandemic was a time when we learned how to make sourdough bread and binged all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For others, it was a time of transition, when they left or were let go of long-held jobs and moved out of busy cities in favor of quieter living.
Some people even realized that they didn’t have to return to a traditional work model and could instead carve out their own destiny as a freelancer. 4.3 Americans quit their job in December 2021, according to a report for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, fifty-nine million Americans freelanced in 2021, a 36% increase, according to a report by Upwork.
Remote Work & Mental Health
Remote work has lessened the importance of living in a major city and instead presents options for the modern American worker. ProVape’s study suggests that more Americans will consider the stress levels of an individual state before making the leap and moving there.
This survey also appears at a moment in our history where mental health, mindfulness, and wellness are at the forefront of the conversation. A study by the Center for Disease Control released in 2020 revealed that 19.2% of adults had received any mental health treatment in the past 12 months, including 15.8% who had taken prescription medication for their mental health and 9.5% who received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional.”
While not everyone will be able to move to Hawaii to reduce stress, ProVape’s study shows that there are plenty of other worthy states to move to if the stress of your current state is getting to be too much.
Perhaps what is most important about this study is the seriousness with which we are coming to take anxiety, depression, and stress. Mental health matters, but only if people are willing to talk about it.
More Articles From the Our Woven Journey Network:
- I’m Outta Here! Top 10 States People are Ready to Leave
- People Are Moving Out of Washington State, Here’s Where They’re Going To
Justin McDevitt is a playwright and essayist from New York City. His latest play HAUNT ME had its first public reading at Theater for the New City in September. He is a contributor for RUE MORGUE where he lends a queer eye to horror cinema in his column STAB ME GENTLY.