Science says that watching animal videos online can help boost productivity, combat loneliness, improve memory functions, enhance relationships, lower stress levels, and increase happiness! This may seem silly and like a waste of time, but it is actually an excellent way to take a brain break at work or when you need to unwind and destress. It can also be a way to connect with nature when getting outside may not be feasible. I cannot tell you how many kitty videos my husband and I have shared over the years.
Thanks to the many livestream websites and social media, you can watch cute and cuddly friends for free at any time from anywhere. Neuroscientists believe that engaging with adorable animal content online can give us a boost of dopamine, which is a feel-good hormone. This is especially great for folks like me who are allergic to animals, so I cannot have fur babies of my own, but I love to watch them online. Virtual pet-therapy, anyone?
My favorite is Smoothie the Cat (AKA the Queen of Fluff), a gorgeous British longhair that has captured the hearts of millions of followers. Often referred to as the prettiest cat in the world, Smoothie and her brother Milkshake offer tons of furry fun. Check out her Catfulness (mindfulness) videos on YouTube for some zen and lots of fluff. Smoothie also has lots of clips and pictures on Instagram. Beyond Smoothie, Explore.org has live video feeds of just about any animal imaginable but be sure to check out the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where Great Danes are trained as service dogs for people living with disabilities. They have several different cams set up so you watch all the entertainment. You can learn more about this amazing organization on their website. Puppies, galore! Lastly, I like to keep tabs on the rescue Tiny Kittens. Lots of livestream options and kittens for all. Added bonus because Tiny Kittens is a rescue, they have some amazing and inspiring stories such as the tale of Cassidy, the Miracle Kitten.
So, the next time you need to destress, head over to one of these websites and take a few minutes basking in the adorableness of the animal kingdom.
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