Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How much does where we live affect our mood?

I love this place.
(It's not Nottingham, as you may gather!)

I don’t like the town I live in.  In fact, of all the places I've ever been, it’s in the top three of those I don’t like.

Firstly, I never feel either myself or my possessions are safe here.  Secondly, there are only two venues I’ve been to I genuinely like.  Thirdly, everywhere is far away: I deliberately chose to live on the tram route here, yet it still takes me at least 45 minutes to get anywhere worth going.  Therefore, I can rarely be bothered to go out.  (Okay, admittedly I may have been spoiled by the ‘Everywhere is ten minutes walk’ scenario in my previous town, but still.)

All this (aside from being a good excuse for me to have a rant) got me thinking: how much is our mood affected by where we live?  I think probably quite a lot.

Granted, some of it is down to whether we have  friends nearby or a job we enjoy, but I’m pretty sure I’d be happier in my current situation if only it was in a place I liked more (such as Leamington, just as a random example.  It’s not as though it’s my favourite place on Earth or anything, no, not at all.)

I find my mood is generally more ‘down’ in this town.  (Hey, that rhymes!  I might use that sometime...) I know there are times when my mood has been lower because of some life-trauma or significant change, but I mean my ‘status quo’ mood is lower here than in...let’s say Leamington again.  Which isn’t good.

For me, this might mean seriously looking at moving elsewhere eventually, and it might mean that for others out there too.  In any case, I thought it was worth mentioning because I don’t know if ‘place of residence’ ever figures much in our (or at least my) thinking around Depression or mood.

It’d be interesting to see some statistics on depressive illnesses and geographical locations to see if there are towns that are literally more depressing.

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