Boredom hits everyone at different times, but it’s been especially prevalent during the isolating coronavirus pandemic. And while everyone knows a good trip outside can bring about a more positive mood and cure some of those listless feelings, it’s not always easy to do that, especially when you’re staying socially distant. Fortunately, new research concluded that you can get back in touch with nature without ever having to leave your house. In fact, a recent study has found that watching nature TV shows can actually cure boredom.
“Our results show that simply watching nature on TV can help to lift people’s mood and combat boredom,” Nicky Yeo, BSc, the lead researcher and a PhD student at the University of Exeter, said in a press statement. “With people around the world facing limited access to outdoor environments because of COVID-19 quarantines, this study suggests that nature programs might offer an accessible way for populations to benefit from a ‘dose’ of digital nature.”
However, as the study shows, you don’t necessarily need to actually be in nature to feel these effects.
“The real experience of being immersed in nature strongly implicates neural connections and positive alterations in mood. When this is not available, virtual nature is able to tap into these processes through analogous visual experiences and memories,” she explains. “Therefore, virtual nature mimics the effects of immersion in physical nature.”
And while the researchers specifically showed scenes from the Blue Planet II series produced by BBC Natural History, the study concludes that any nature program could likely bring about the same results.
Keep reading for some nature series you can stream now, and for more ways TV can help you.
1. Our Planet
Our Planet on Netflix takes viewers to 50 countries, showing the various ecosystems across Earth.
2. The Crocodile Hunter
Who can pass up watching Steve Irwin doing what he did best? This beloved nature show has five seasons streaming on Hulu.
3. Night on Earth
This fascinating new series uses advanced technology to capture animals’ lives at night, and is streaming on Netflix.
4. Gathering Storm
You can catch Gathering Storm on Disney+. The show takes a look at some of the planet’s fiercest storms through the experience of those who work at sea.
5. 72 Dangerous Animals
This Netflix series may not be as calming as some of the others, but if you’re looking for a more exciting glimpse of nature, this is it. The show looks at dangerous creatures and how they stack up against other predators.
6. Life Below Zero
This Disney+ show goes behind the scenes of those living deep in Alaska as they fight the freeze and brave the wild, with temperatures venturing far below zero.
7. Drain the Oceans
If you like learning about shipwrecks and what lies way down deep, Drain the Oceans is streaming on Disney+. This show exposes sunken cities, shipwrecks, and other wonders below the ocean water.