Studies have found that interacting with the natural world has a beneficial effect on a person's well-being. You may already know that spending time in green spaces, like parks or gardens, has been proven to reduce blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and have a calming effect on the nervous system.
What you may not know is that interaction with animals provides mental health benefits.
Listening to songbirds in nature, for example, has been found to refocus attention and provide a restorative effect.
However, you don’t have to physically spend time in nature to get the benefits that animals provide.
Watching videos or movies of cute animals can elicit feelings of awe and joy while reducing feelings of tiredness.
This month as part of Living Well at Vi, we celebrate regional animals. Be intentional about taking time to relax while enjoying the benefits of nature and the animals surrounding us.