Ways in Which Pets Help With Our Mental Health

Ever wondered how just talking to your pet has made your day immediately go from horrible to great? Yes, it is proven that pets can help with our mental health.

Humans have a strong bond with animals which is why they can easily have an impact on us. Dogs and cats have been domesticated since many centuries now. Keeping them as a pet is just like raising a child. It is a lot of work but definitely has its perks. Apart from the unconditional love and constant companionship, there are many other advantages of having pets. People of all ages are known to feel instant happiness when they see a wet nose and a wagging tail, or even a purring cat.

Studies say that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those who don’t have pets. There are numerous studies and theories drawn on this. Out of which, one was conducted by Psychologist Alan Beck. It proved that a person’s blood pressure went back to normal, breathing became normal, and muscle tension relaxed; when the person pets a dog. Don't we all feel immediately calm after interacting with our babies?

It is proven that petting your dog or cat even for 5 minutes can increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which relaxes your nervous system. This activity is also known to reduce cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. Watching a pet fish swim in its tank has also the same effects. Remember how your stress just vanishes when your dog or cat comes and just sits with you?

Pets have a great effect on people suffering from loneliness. Even a bird at home with that person helps him deal with negative thoughts. Pets are also great listeners (probably because they can't speak)! A person trusts his pet more than anything in sad times. A dog resting his head on your lap or your cat rubbing her body against yours brings back your faith that you aren't alone!

Pets need quite a lot of work and care. So, that, in turn, gives humans a sense of purpose and routine in their lives. The responsibility of feeding, cleaning, and exercising another living being in itself makes you aware of your duties. Pets need to be taken outdoors regularly. One begging look from your pet and we just have to get up and go out. Both humans and dogs get their daily dose of exercise.

Taking care of a pet also boosts your self-esteem and confidence. You take pride in taking ownership of the tedious task that is.

Animals don’t worry about the past or the future; they just live in the moment, and that is exactly what they teach us! They mesmerise us with their cuteness and we actually forget all our worries for those moments. We all return home after tiring days and see them all happy and waiting for us. There's no way that we think about our horrible days then. All we care is that we're happy to be home with them.

Humans start making social connections because of their pets sometimes. Everyone loves when you mention some naughty or cute tales about your pet. Also, you connect with like-minded people on your daily walks.

Dogs and horses are used for therapy in different situations. Therapy animals are known to really help cheer up patients! Children with autism are known to work better with animals. Dogs are also known to calm hyperactive children. A study proved that children who grow up with pets have fewer anxiety issues later on in life.

Last but not the least, they love us unconditionally. Your looks, behaviour, weaknesses, or strengths don’t matter to them! They love you as you are with all your flaws. That surety and love definitely help us get going in life!

Please note that this information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

raksha kulkarni

raksha kulkarni

Jeevoka member since Feb 2020

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