What is the secret to happiness? This is a question that has been asked by philosophers, soul searchers, mental health professionals, and anyone facing those “in a funk” moments that come and go as we age, experience different trials, and celebrate milestones. That pesky question of “okay, now what?” always seems to pop up. An anonymous writer once said, “life is like art, you have to work hard to keep it simple, and still have meaning.”

While many may think that material objects and money have the keys to all the happiness in the world; celebrities, those in positions of power, and wealth are among some of the unhappiest people in our population, according to research. You see, a lack of genuine connection with your community, holding back on generosity, and not celebrating the simple things in life are some of ways we hold ourselves back from true joy. What creates happiness is something far more priceless than money can buy, and every great small town possesses it.

What makes a small-town lifestyle happy?

When money can buy you all the Amazon packages at your front doorstep with 2-day shipping, or your dreamy, high-rise condominium with a skyline view, why would a small town be anything you would think about? The pandemic caused all of us to take a hard look at ourselves, our careers, and our way of life. If you’re like us, you had a lot of time to think in quarantine. You may have asked yourself what you want your life to look like in 10 years? Or, possibly, where you want to raise your future children? While material things have their place and everyone needs the essentials to get by, small towns like White Pine, Tennessee, offer an alternative to the fast-paced, hustle and bustle of city or suburban life. The benefits of living in a small town are abundant and the list goes on and on, but we have condensed our list to the top 10 reasons why a small town can make you or your family happier. We hope this list causes you to think about what positive changes a small-town lifestyle can bring to your life and family.

#1 Purposeful Connection  

We all saw the impacts of isolation during COVID-19, and the importance of having friends, family, or a community you can connect with around during times of stress or uncertainty. The truth is connection should be a part of our daily lives without stress and uncertainty. In small towns, the population is smaller, so connection is naturally easier. Neighbors know each other by name, wave to each other on the street, and often work together. Connection is by default part of daily life and not skipped over due to “being too busy.”

#2 Lower Cost of Living

It’s no secret that the cost of food and gas are rising by the month as we begin 2022. The housing market trends are typically less expensive in small towns. For example, the average home sale price in White Pine, TN is $204K compared to Knoxville, TN at $285K, Nashville, TN at $395K, or Sevierville, TN at $465K. Homeowners in small towns generally always save on property taxes, as well.

#3 Less Traffic

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is less likely to happen in a small town unless you happen to be trying to get through on a day that they are hosting their Christmas parade or another annual event. Even then, it won’t be anything like you would experience in a big city or suburban area. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer collisions. In fact, due to the lower rates of vandalism, theft, and collisions in a small town, you can expect savings on your car insurance bill, too.

#4 Nature in Your Own Backyard

Many small towns in the south are home to beautiful scenery with neighboring nationals parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains, bike trails, hiking trails, activities to enjoy during all times of the year outdoors! No multiple hour-long car trips out of the city required, you’re already at or very close to your destination.

#5 Focus on Experiences over Materials

The small-town lifestyle encourages a family or individual to get out of the product-centered mindset, and into the experience-filled one. With less material objects weighing a person down, the mind is freer to be creative, expressive, and allow for more movement. We see this in the consumer minimalism trends today where people purge their “things” to bring more peace to their life and put more stock into the experiences they share with the people in their life. As the saying goes, “we can’t take it with us when we’re gone.”

#6 Slower Pace of Living

Does life ever feel like one thing to the next to the next? In a small town, the slower pace of living is not the exception but the rule. Neighbors and friends meet for coffee and breakfast before they start their day, people read the actual paper, and (get ready for this) there’s less overall stress. The peacefulness and overall spaciousness of small towns make quiet activities like meditation, yoga, or even reading a book, more doable.

#7 Less Pollution for Allergy Sufferers

Research suggests ozone and nitrogen dioxide, both air pollutants found in automobiles, cause more airway inflammation, and induce adverse effects for allergy and asthma sufferers. One benefit of moving to a small town is limiting exposure to air pollution so allergy season isn’t such an uphill battle for those with allergies and complications of asthma.

#7 Shop Locally Owned Businesses  

If you have ever looked for a Starbucks in a small town, you know that you’ll be hard pressed to find one. That’s because chain restaurants and food suppliers target larger markets. Small towns rely on their community and their local business owners to step in and open shop where there is a need. For those who love to shop local and support small businesses, a small-town is a perfect place to do just that!

#8 Sleep Soundly

Due to the low crime rate and low noise pollution of small towns, they make great locations to get quality, restful sleep free of worry. There will be no 4 a.m. city garbage can collection service like there is in the city because there is no need for that as the waste service can likely over the service area in the daytime. The added safety and charm of small towns make them excellent places to raise a family, too.

#9 Know and Help Your Neighbors

In close-knit communities, the likelihood of you not knowing your neighbor is slim and everyone gets down on their luck in one way or another. By having this connection to your neighbors and community, you will be able to step in and help where needed, if duty calls. If they need a meal, extra clothes, or toys for their child, you’ll know about it and can help. Research suggests that there’s a biochemical explanation for the positive emotions associated with doing good and in a small-town community, there’s plenty of good to go around.

#10 Live the Simple Life

We have all had complicated issues and trials that are messy. A small town allows you to take a step back, look at life with a simplified point of view, and place value on what really matters. With this fresh, new perspective, who knows what else could change in your life?

Live the Good Life in White Pine, Tennessee

Whether you buy a cabin and have a peaceful retreat to come to for our annual events throughout the year, start planning your big move and open a business in shopping district, or plan your retirement here – we have a place here for you in White Pine, Tennessee. We believe a simple life is a happy life, and we love doing life together in White Pine as part of the Jefferson County community. Plan your visit with us, and you’ll discover all there is to do, see, and love about our charming small town in East Tennessee!