In her 2015 study, Jessica Gail Myrick, an Indiana University Media School researcher, found that watching Internet cat videos boosts viewers’ energy and positive emotions while decreasing negative feelings.
Myrick interviewed almost 7,000 people who watched cat videos and discovered that:
* They were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat-related online media than before.
* They had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching cat-related online media than before.
*They often viewed Internet cats at work or during studying.
*The pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick said.
Even if you’re not a big consumer of cute cat videos, chances are you take breaks throughout the day to check your email inbox, Facebook feed or scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.
No judgment! Taking breaks is okay. It’s necessary. It’s good for you. That being said…
I’d like to suggest an alternative to cat videos and social media ~ Creative Oasis Moments!
Unplugging from your screens and routines to enjoy a creative project, passion or pursuit, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes, can provide a truly refreshing break in your day!
I invite you to take a moment to write a list of all the Creative Oasis Moments that sound good to you. Here are a few examples to help you get started:
* Spend 15 minutes with a current creative project
* Play an instrument
* Take a walk around the block
* Do a few yoga poses
* Write a haiku
* Do some needlework
* Take a photo
* Daydream about a dream vacation
* Listen to a podcast
* Practice a new language
* Make a colorful, healthy snack
* Flip through coffee table or art books
* Write a letter to a friend
* Check the local arts calendar and make a date with a friend to see an exhibit, attend a play or go to a concert
The same thing goes for choosing how you want to relax in the evening. Perhaps you’ve gotten into the habit of unwinding with a glass of wine and the latest Netflix series in the evening. (And if it’s Grace & Frankie you’re watching, I’m right there with you!)
Again, I offer the alternative of spending a bit of time enjoying an experience off your Creative Oasis Moment list.
Remember ~ you have a choice! What if you choose one of your Creative Oasis Moments and give yourself permission to enjoy that for 10 or 15 minutes before turning on the TV? You may just decide you’d rather keep painting, or reading or writing or playing piano than vegging out on the couch.
Chances are you’ll experience some, if not all, of the same positive effects of those cat video watchers in the study!
Until next time, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,