Watching cute animals is great for your health

We believe that cuteness is therapeutic and we need more of it in our everyday lives (and wardrobes :), and we are dedicated to spreading cuteness in the most Earth-people-and-animal-friendly way possible. And while we already knew that looking at cute animals felt good, there's data that backs that feeling! 

With mental health being a growing concern, many of us turn to yoga, mindfulness and exercise to control stress and reduce anxiety. While these methods may work great for some, research has found mixed benefits of these approaches, given the tendency to avoid such activities during times of significant stress or depression.

A recent study of the physiological and psychological impact of 'cute' animals, conducted by the University of Leeds, in partnership with Western Australia Tourism, and published by First Stop Singapore, found strong evidence that watching cute animals contributes to a significant reduction in stress and anxiety. The study examined how watching images and videos of cute animals for 30 minutes affects blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety.

Dr. Andrea Utley, an associate professor at the University of Leeds, put together the 30-minute montage, featuring kittens, puppies, baby gorillas and quokkas, amongst other cuties. In all cases, the study saw blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety go down significantly in all participants, after watching the video.

Commenting on the psychological findings, Dr. Andrea Utley said: “The findings from our stress questionnaire were significant, with state anxiety scores from the STAI anxiety inventory reducing from 46 to 30. This indicates that participants' emotional state at the start of the session was far more apprehensive, nervous and stressed than it was by the end of the session… With the results as solid as they are, we’ll be rolling this relaxation method out across other departments so more students can destress ahead of their exams.

Next time you feel quite stressed or anxious, try indulging in a 30-minute cuteness therapy session from the comfort of your own screen. And if you’re not sure where to start, try our Instagram story highlights dedicated to Cuteness and follow @theqtstyle for a daily dose of cuteness, goodness and positivity :)