Why are New Yorkers more stressed than other Americans?

A busy street in NYC

The reality of a modern lifestyle is that everyday activities come with a dose of stress. It’s present almost everywhere, and no one is spared. However, living in a big city comes with noticeably higher levels of stress. There are several reasons for it, but in general, city life is faster and more hectic. When it comes to the United States, there’s one place where people have more trouble coping with tension. At the same time, it’s one of the most popular locations in the country. Yes, you’ve guessed right – it’s New York City. The Big Apple has so much to give, but at the same time, its inhabitants live under more physical and mental pressure than any other US resident. But why are New Yorkers more stressed than other Americans? Let's find out.


Probably the most significant stressor of New Yorkers is money. NYC is known to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. The most problematic expenses are housing, utilities, and transportation. However, being one of the most popular locations, prices of all other things tend to be more expensive than average. So, despite being given many opportunities to earn money,

A couple calculating monthly expenses
NYC is rather expensive – monthly calculations add to our stress and anxiety.

New Yorkers stress about managing their monthly budget. If you're planning to move to NYC, be sure to investigate your budget and the expenses in detail. See if you can afford to live here and what your earning possibilities are.

All the people

NYC has a huge population – almost 9 million people live in the Big Apple. Even though this is very exciting, it can be pretty stressful, too. Being surrounded by too many people every day can put pressure on you and cause you stress and anxiety. Streets that are constantly crowded with locals in a hurry and mesmerized tourists can become too much. If you recognize the NYC crowd as your cause of stress, be sure to deal with it as soon as possible. Moving to a quiet neighborhood and frequent getaways to a peaceful location outside New York can help a lot. Explore the areas around the city where you can have a peaceful weekend away from all the crowds. It doesn't need to be a long trip – sometimes, a two-hour drive can be enough to clear your mind and start the week fresh.

The noise

A huge density and hectic traffic result in busy streets and a lot of noise. New York streets tend to be very noisy, and some people can't get rid of that even after they come home. Cars, ambulance vehicles, music, people talking – everything blends in a noise that can cause anxiety to many New Yorkers.

Times Square at night
It’s true that busy and noisy streets make New Yorkers more stressed than other Americans.

Sometimes, this develops into a more severe disorder – agoraphobia. If this bothers you, try finding a way to cancel out the noise as much as possible. At home, you can start by soundproofing your windows and sealing all the gaps that might leak air and noise from the outside. Thick curtains and white noise can also help. Outside, you can use headphones to listen to a podcast, music, or even meditation sounds and guides. This can also be very helpful during your commute.

Long commutes

Commuting is another thing that makes New Yorkers more stressed than other Americans. Even though the one-way average commute time in NYC is about 35 minutes, the reality is that many New Yorkers spend more time coming to work and going back home.

A man stressed during commute time
Being late to your evening appointments is the reality of NYC.

This period of the day feels like a waste of time, and in cities like NYC, time is everything. For that reason, New Yorkers often feel stressed, especially when the commute takes longer than they expected. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to deal with this kind of stress. Reducing the commute time is only possible if you find a new home closer to your office. Even though moving is also one of the huge stressors, all the effort is worth it if your daily problems and waste of time are reduced to a minimum.

Deal with stress by establishing some healthy habits

Even though New Yorkers are more stressed than other Americans, they also enjoy everything NYC provides. All the opportunities, new people, cultural and entertainment options make this city one of the most attractive places to live. That's why using proper methods to manage daily stress is essential. Try changing your diet and starting your day slow with a high-quality breakfast. Also, plan your weekly activities so that you can include regular workouts, short trips, relaxing time, etc. Change your attitude and find a way to deal with New York.

Still, it's important to understand that living in a place like NYC is not for everyone – and that's okay! There are many excellent options for those who want to leave and lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. If you notice that the things that make New Yorkers more stressed than other Americans are too much for you – research some good places to move from NYC. The Big Apple is undoubtedly a fantastic city, but if it's causing too much stress, it's better to make a home somewhere else. This move will surely help you be more relaxed and productive. And you can always visit NYC as a happy tourist when you find yourself missing the hustle and bustle!



Marina Cain is a psychology major born and raised in NYC. Dealing with emotions is one of her interests, so she writes blog posts in her free time.

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