How Watching Nature Programs Can Boost Mental Wellbeing

How Watching Nature Programs Can Boost Mental Wellbeing

How Watching Nature Programs Can Boost Mental Wellbeing. Presented by BetterHelp.

Have you ever gone on a walk to improve your mood, knowing you’ll probably feel better after a little time in nature? Surrounded by the beauty of nature, it’s possible to return feeling more relaxed and calm. 

The good news is you can receive some of those same benefits you can get from a nature walk without even leaving your home. The only thing you need is a screen for watching shows about the natural world, such as a nature documentary on elephants. 



While the overall mood boost you can get from nature is good, sometimes feelings of sadness or anxiety can feel overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to seek out support with a therapist if you’re looking for a way to improve your life overall. Engaging in holistic therapy can bring new understanding to how physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components work together to contribute to a person’s overall wellbeing. 

To learn more about the potentially transformative benefits of holistic therapy, check out BetterHelp’s resources: www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/the-transformative-potential-of-holistic-therapy/

In this article, we’ll look at some of the research behind what makes nature TV so potentially beneficial, plus a few of our favorite nature documentaries.

How Can Watching Nature On TV Provide Mental Health Benefits?

In a study by the University of Exeter, watching nature programs was shown to improve overall wellbeing by helping to minimize sadness and negative feelings. The study participants were also found to enjoy reduced boredom after watching nature shows. The study involved participants watching an underwater coral reef scene on a conventional TV screen, using a VR headset, and a VR headset with computer-generated graphics.

For many of us who spend long days at work, these results could mean flipping to a nature documentary at the end of a busy could contribute to a more positive mental state. The results of the study are also important for a wide range of people who may be unable to access natural outdoor environments, including people who are confined to hospitals or those who are in assisted living centers. 

Top-Rated Nature Documentaries To Stream 

With all the potential benefits to be gained from watching nature shows, let’s look at some of the best nature documentaries and docuseries to start streaming right now. 

Planet Earth (2006)

Produced by the BBC, Planet Earth is a landmark television series, which was the first high-definition documentary in the channel’s history. Each of the 11 episodes takes viewers to different parts of the amazing planet we all share, from dry deserts and towering mountains to vast forests and lush jungles. Narrated by David Attenborough, this series still delivers unforgettable moments of majesty.

Check out where to watch Planet Earth

My Octopus Teacher (2020)

My Octopus Teacher documents the story of a South African filmmaker and free diver who forges a unique attachment to an octopus he meets in a kelp forest. His interactions with the octopus lead to transformations in the way he relates to his family – most importantly, his relationship with his son. This mesmerizing story of nature and human relationships captured the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2021. 

Find where to stream My Octopus Teacher.

The Eagle Huntress (2016)

This next nature movie documents the incredible landscape of Mongolia and the uplifting story of a determined, young girl. The movie follows a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan, as she trains to become Mongolia’s first competitive female eagle huntress. The seventh generation in her nomadic family to hunt with eagles, we get a fascinating look at both the young eagle huntress and the icy terrain of Mongolia she and her family inhabit. 

Where to watch The Eagle Huntress.

Flight Of The Butterflies (2012)  

Watching a butterfly is magical, but did you ever wonder where a monarch butterfly goes when they fly away? Flight Of The Butterflies follows the amazing year-long migration of millions of tiny monarch butterflies as they fly back and forth between North America and the mountains of Mexico. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gaze upon the beauty of this winged marvel who can travel 50-100 miles a day before completing their journey, which can be up to around 3,000 miles one way. 

Check out where to watch Flight Of The Butterflies.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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