BBC Earth has launched five 10-hour "visual soundscape" videos after research finds that nature footage boosts bliss.
There has been so much research linking nature and happiness; it's becoming more and more evident that a dearth of trees and fresh air does not do a mind and body good. But could even just watching nature on a screen have similar positive outcomes?
According to a new study from BBC Earth and the University of California, Berkeley the answer is yes. Now of course, BBC Earth is in the business of bringing the natural world to the screen, but nonetheless, the research revealed that watching nature documentaries not only "inspired significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity, but that it also acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress."
While it may be hard to imagine that seeing mountains on television could have the same effect as seeing mountains right in front of you, maybe there's something to it. Regardless, it's the impetus behind BBC Earth's Real Happiness Project, a mission to "bring real happiness to as many people as possible by improving their connection to the natural world."
One of the initiatives in the project has been the creation of "visual soundscapes," which are comprised of soothing footage from Planet Earth II outtakes. Think of them as long meditative journeys through specific landscapes; and while they don't really demand attention in the watching-a-documentary sense, they provide another way to have some nature in your day. I don't know about you, but I can tell you right now that 10 hours of relaxing jungle sounds is a whole lot better than 10 hours of new-condo-being-built-across-the-street-from-my-house sounds.
Bottom line: If you can't soar across the mountains in person, an armchair adventure might be your next best bet. Given the extraordinary power of nature, it's surely worth a shot.
10 hours of relaxing jungle sounds
10 hours of relaxing island sounds
10 hours of relaxing mountain sounds
10 hours of relaxing desert sounds
10 hours of relaxing grassland sounds
For more happiness, visit the Real Happiness Project website.