cute_attack_article.jpgSo you're on Facebook or an instant messenger and a friend sends you a link of a super cute bunny or puppy or kitten, and you're instantly transported into the world of "gigil," in which you go "aww" for as long as your breath holds out and you make stroking or scratchy gestures at your computer screen. You've just been cute attacked! And we know how good it feels!

But the happiness these pictures give you is no accident, reports Maia Szalavitz in an article on She shares that we react to puppies, kittens, and the like because their big eyes, small bodies, high-pitched sounds, and seeming vulnerability--in short, their cuteness--are traits shared by babies.

Szalavitz writes, "Although adults tend to trivialize cuteness as silly and trite, the ability to appreciate it is actually a critical adaptation, honed over the eons to ensure that we take care of our young. Cuteness lifts our mood and is inherently pleasurable, which tends to mitigate the many, many aspects of parenting that are not fun at all."

She also cites a study linking women's reproductive hormones to their sensitivity to cuteness; the authors of this study tested premenopausal women and women taking the Pill (and therefore with artificially elevated hormone levels) as well as postmenopausal women, and it turned out that the former were "more sensitive to variations of cuteness" than the latter.

We like how Szalavitz put it: "Witnessing cuteness is basically instant Prozac."

So if you're feeling a little down in the dumps, why not give yourself a cute attack? And if you've a friend who's stressed or depressed, share the wealth and give her an "aww" moment with just a click of your mouse button.

We've listed some sites that have a lot of cuteness to offer in the gallery below. Check these out for some instant good vibes.

Looking for more articles on fun and happiness? Check out the following:

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