The Psychological Benefits of Living in a Rural Setting

Do you know what the benefits of living in the countryside are? How is living in a rural setting different from living in a big city? In this article, we'll take a closer look at those who live in rural areas.
The Psychological Benefits of Living in a Rural Setting

Last update: 06 December, 2020

Living in a rural setting is becoming more and more popular due to its benefits. Weekend escapes to nature are on the rise, even though the cultural scene in the big city can be a lot more varied.

Of course, life in the country lacks certain advantages such as cultural variety and work opportunities. There are often other issues, such as limited Internet access as well. However, a rural setting can enrich the lives of those who live there.

For instance, people in the country are generally more in contact with nature. It’s also common to have more personal relationships, as well as more time to enjoy them. Do you know about the benefits of living in a rural setting?

Advantages and disadvantages of living in a rural setting

More and more people are leaving behind hectic city life for a slower-paced lifestyle. They want to try to escape the stress that life in the city brings. Making the decision to live in the country means prioritizing the benefits you’ll get over the limitations you’ll have to live with. Following this, we’ll show you the main advantages and disadvantages.

A woman looking across a lake towards a small village.

Advantages

The advantages or benefits of living in a rural setting can be summed up in the following points:

  • Buying or renting a house is generally cheaper in the country. Also, the cost of living in rural areas tends to be lower than in the city.
  • Friendships tend to be closer between the members of a small community than between city dwellers.
  • Hours spent waiting in traffic or on public transport are replaced with walking, which is better for your health and is a much better use of your time.
  • Eating habits tend to be healthier in the country, thanks to fresh produce from the garden or nearby farms and the availability of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Of course, the local corner store will still have some ultra-processed foods. However, they definitely won’t be as plentiful as what you can find in the city.
  • Wide, open spaces give one a sense of peace. They allow you to be in touch with nature and help you stay calm, while in big cities life is extremely stressful due to various factors (such as noise, traffic, bad air quality, pollution, lack of time, etc.).
  • Work in the country is generally more people-based, with daily personal contact with a large number of people, encouraging socialization.
  • When young people move to the country, they help to repopulate certain areas, where the inhabitants are older. On many occasions, these actions have even saved small villages from extinction.

Disadvantages

Here are some of the downsides of living in the country:

  • Access to technology and social networks can be limited.
  • For some procedures or paperwork, it may be necessary to go to the city. Of course, thanks to the Internet, this necessity is getting less common.
  • Getting good medical attention can be a little tricky in the country. This is especially applicable to those who suffer from chronic diseases or those who need frequent medical attention.
  • Job opportunities and entertainment options can be quite limited in the country.

Psychological benefits of living in a rural setting

Despite the downsides, many have decided to make drastic changes in their lives by moving to the country. Living in a rural setting can bring a sense of peace and tranquility that life in the city just can’t match.

In addition, the fact that online social networking connections are limited helps to promote better in-person communication with others in the community. That’s always been an important aspect of village life.

Also, the sense of belonging, a focus on friendships in person, and contact with nature help to avoid feelings of isolation and unwanted loneliness, apart from other emotional issues.

Living in a rural setting is, therefore, a protection against the feeling of loneliness. You don’t just get the benefits of closer communication with other people but also the availability of nature and the outdoors at any given moment.

This environment favors living in the present moment and enjoying the sensations that nature has to offer. These can be things such as a variety of different fresh food items to enjoying different outdoor scenes, such as a pleasant sunny walk in the early morning.

Benefits for older people

Older people can also benefit from the entrance of new people in the area. The rural scene is refreshed, apart from the extra influx of resources that the community will enjoy. The presence of children also helps liven things up.

Even more important for older people is the companionship and help they can receive from younger members of the community. As we mentioned above, rural areas are where you can find strong and healthy friendships. This is an added benefit for older people.

A child and his grandfather enjoy time together outdoors.

Personal relationships during childhood

Rural settings also offer children greater freedom to run around and play outdoors. Small towns are generally safer. That means that children can play sports and be with their friends without such an extreme degree of vigilance that’s needed in a city.

Also, ecologically speaking, life in the country can increase children’s sensitivity to and awareness of the environment. When parents take advantage of this and educate their children on caring for the environment, they’re helping to develop a sustainable future for their children.

In short, there are many benefits of living in a rural setting for people of all ages. However, deciding to live in the country implies carefully analyzing both the benefits and disadvantages before making a decision. Don’t forget that you and your family will have to live with that decision 365 days a year.

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