Wednesday nights at my house are public television nights. Not only is there nothing else worth watching on primetime television, but I have a special affinity for the nature programming they offer then. Last week the program I watched was a fascinating episode of the series, Nature, called Pets: Wild at Heart - Secretive Creatures. 

It dealt with our domestic pets and the reasons they do what they do, especially when we're not watching. Among many other things, I learned why cats are compelled to scratch their claws on just about anything, and it wasn't as I assumed; to sharpen them, so as to better tear the furniture and me apart!

No, they do it to remove the "husks", (old coverings or remnants) of their older nails, so those fresh sharp ones are readily available. It is a genetic behavior used by their large, wild, predecessors, to enable them to climb things without the worry of having a loose nail husk cause them to fall or lose their grip. Weird huh?

In any case, I also had no idea that watching nature programming could also lead to having a better self-image. But that is exactly what new research from two universities (one in England and one in Malaysia) has concluded.

One of the participating professors opined: "There are a number of possible explanations for our results, including the idea that natural environments promote 'soft fascination', which is a state of cognitive quiet that fosters self-kindness and helps individuals have a more compassionate view of their body".

I'm glad that the participants in their studies viewed themselves in a more positive light after viewing various nature films. Bully for them! As for me, I either need to watch a lot more of that kind of programming, or get myself to a gym! It remains to be seen, which I will choose.

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