Cats and Dogs Never Get Old: Stress Relief via Pet Videos

 

My favorite pasttime, for the few hours of the week I get to do it, is lay on the couch watching tv and reading Buzzfeed during the commercial breaks. (That's right - I don't fast forward). Clearly I'm not one of those pretentious blowhards who claim "not to have a TV" or that they only read "books" or refuse to read mainstream content on the internet - I am all about jam packing as much light entertainment and listicle reading as humanly possible when my intense, exhausting workload is done for the night. 

Now that you understand my pop culture proclivities, you may find that even I was surprised that I always gravitated to the cats and dogs features on Buzzfeed.  (The "We can tell what Friends character you are by your taste in cheese" features? Not so much. I like the "we can tell your age" quizzes though - they always think I'm 27! Woo hoo!)  I sometimes laugh so hysterically, I start crying.  I can't help it!  While I've laughed, oo'd and aah'd over the latest cute adventure, I then wonder, am I regressing into childhood? Is this too silly even for a lowbrow audience like myself?

Turns out, these videos are so stress-relieving and so appealing to us for many legit psychological reasons.  Cats and dogs are the closest animals to us in regards to domesticated animals, and they feel like family, so we get feel-good warm and fuzzies when we watch them. (They're also hysterical and laughter has a huge impact on stress levels, by releasing endorphins and a whole lot of other positive effects.) But another reason could be pets' child-like physical appeal that inspires our nurturing side. Regardless, watching funny cat and dog videos is an great to way to let off steam. When you're over it with the wedding stress, hop on Buzzfeed or google away to find a cute video and laugh for a few blissful stress free minutes.

Even better, if you have a real-life pet, snuggle or hold them for a few minutes - a proven way to lower blood pressure.  Keeping stress levels down is the cat's meow. (Sorry. I couldn't help myself.)