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Small Towns = Happy Brains?

Dr. Edward Hallowell is an adult psychiatrist, best-selling author and the founder of a center for cognitive and emotional health. (Google him for a list of titles.) He summered in Norfolk for years with his family.

I remember a talk he delivered one summer evening on the health of the human brain. He emphasized the importance of people connecting to family, friends, work, school, nature and animals as being crucial to brain stimulation and thus to emotional health. Apparently, when we encounter a familiar face, even in passing, our brain fires off a ton of neurons, which is good for the brain and in turn releases internal reactions that make us feel happier. Or at least better. Or maybe not grumpy.

Anyway, he claimed that small towns are the healthiest places to reside because we encounter familiar faces on a regular basis. An involved conversation isn’t required, just a simple nod or quick “hi” will suffice. Something to think about on your next trip to the post office, grocery store or coffee shop.

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