As with so much of life, the key to greater satisfaction and enjoyment often lies in taking the time for mindful observation of one’s own habits and movements. There's almost always a place to sit in public transportation.
I'd be interested in seeing how much of it has to do with being able to move at one's rhythm. I rarely have to stand in the middle of the aisle while others are trying to get out the train. I don't have to follow the rushing flow of people and I rarely get stuck behind someone who doesn't walk my speed. It feels like I would test somewhere closer to the rural dwellers, or maybe that's because originally I come from a rural area?
Then again, maybe I'm wrong about how I would test. It sounds as though your work hours have made it possible for you to mitigate one of the great stressors of city life--the commute to work.
There’s much that we don’t know about the causes of such associations between place and mental health, but it’s distinctly possible that the stressors of daily life in the city may contribute to the prevalence of such disorders.There is even evidence that our levels of cortisol--a hormone involved in stress responses--are raised by long and unpleasant commutes.You don't say whether your unusual work hours are a deliberate choice for you, but it's clear that one good strategy for avoiding urban stress related to transportation is to do as you are doing--to swim against--or perhaps around--the daily movements of the masses. As an urban planner who works with mental health professionals, I am glad to see Dr. Cities are growing, they will continue to grow, and they have well documented negative effects on human well-being that require monitoring.Do you dare to confront the anonymity of life in the city by greeting a stranger on an elevator?Can you find a busy public space and sit for a few minutes people-watching?
For some of us, the push for higher density is welcomed.