You knew you felt better after watching videos of puppies and kittens, but now science backs it up. According to a new study from the University of Leeds in the U.K., watching images and videos of adorable animals may help ease stress and anxiety.
The study finds viewing 30 minutes of cute critters can help lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. The research was done on college students during winter exams, a time when stress levels are high, and in each participant, a half hour of cuteness left them feeling less stressed and anxiety levels went down by 35%. And the most appealing to watch? Videos over still images, especially those with animals interacting with humans.
“I was quite pleasantly surprised that during the session, every single measure for every single participant dropped some,” says researcher Dr. Andrea Utley.