Who has not ever done that of ‘taking a nap watching the documentary after eating ‘? Well, it turns out that, beyond the anecdote, watching nature videos has a relaxing effect on your brain and increases your feeling of happiness.
For years the beneficial effects of being in contact with nature have been well known: a walk in the countryside, living near a green area, listening to the song of the birds when leaving the house … you like more or less the plants and Animals, whether you are more or less urbanite, the truth is that natural environments relax us all, and many experts are beginning to recommend them as therapy to reduce stress and anxiety.
Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at the University of California, wanted to see if these benefits of nature could be applicable in the audiovisual world: is the same relaxing effect generated when we watch that after-meal documentary?
To find out, the researcher conducted an online survey of more than 7,500 people spread across places as diverse as the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Singapore, Australia and South Africa. Participants had to share how they felt after watching clips from the following programs: an episode of the popular BBC series ‘Planet Earth’, a soap opera, a newscast, and an emotionally neutral program.
The results revealed that, compared to the rest of the projected sequences, the nature videos enhanced feelings of amazement, curiosity and joy, while emotions such as anger, stress, lack of energy and fatigue were reduced.
“The results also show that young people today are highly stressed, and that watching documentaries about the natural world reduces their anxiety. This suggests that we might turn to new types of content on social media to try to find calm during high-stress situations, “reflects Keltner.
So you already know. The next time the daily rhythm overwhelms you, take it easy : find yourself a good animal documentary, or perhaps a video of the sea, and let nature heal your wounds.