In our world today, stress can quickly shake our mental health. Even the world of social media is becoming too toxic for our emotions, which makes it harder for us to escape such a depressing environment. Social media can also make people like couch potatoes and are too lazy to go out and have that exercise they need.
Aside from catching up with our loved ones and going out, there is another way to boost up our emotions. It does not involve much effort or interaction with other people. You might be able to find it right at your home with a wagging tail, feathers, or fins. There’s something in pets that give us this instant joy when we spend time with them.
Pets don’t only give you companionship. They offer you unconditional love and loyalty. 72% of Americans consider their pets family, so it’s a give-and-take relationship; it’s mutually beneficial. It’s that type of relationship that positively benefits both ends of the line. Not only do pets make us happier, but they also make us healthier. It might help to also take note that our pets should be healthy as well and one way of that is always making sure that our pets are free from any annoying pesky bugs.
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How Do Pets Affect Our Physical Health?
Specifically, pets improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating heart rate. Researchers who conducted a study in 2002 proved that people who had pets had lower heart rates and blood pressure before they underwent the stress test.
Some pets like dogs require daily exercise. Dogs are dependent pets when it comes to strolling around the park. Dog owners walk around much more than people who do not own pets. Not only do dogs help humans in terms of walking, but they are also pretty active animals too. Playing with dogs tends to require a tremendous amount of energy, like playing fetch or running around the yard, which means going to the gym that often would not be necessary anymore.
Having pets around the house distracts you from the pain you’re feeling. Your body releases endorphins, which give an analgesic effect.
How Do Pets Affect Our Emotional and Mental Health?
Spending time with your pet and stroking them helps your body release serotonin and dopamine, which gives a calming and relaxing effect. It reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. As much relaxation and stress relief pets give, being around them soothes and makes them feel better as well.
In addition to relieving stress, pets relieve depression by even just giving you attention. The relationship that you have with your pet can boost your self-esteem and make you happier altogether. Pets promote therapeutic and psychological well-being. They distract you from the negativity building up in your thoughts.
Because pets live a worry-free life, they teach you to appreciate life better. They offer comfort and ease anxiety. Pets make you happier, which also boosts up levels of confidence. They help you become more mindful of life- to live the moment and to be carefree.
While we worry about our insecurities, our pets don’t care at all. We always have to look in the mirror to check if we look okay or not. No matter how we look, our pets love us unconditionally. Pets make our existence more meaningful and give us a sense of belonging.
Assist in Mental Health Recovery
Pets are therapeutic. They help people with mental illness and somehow make them feel better. Pets distract them from the symptoms of their psychological issues. Also, pets give their owners the feeling of being needed or wanted — a sense of being in control. Since pets need maintenance like feeding, cleaning, grooming, etc., the owners feel accomplished after taking care of their pets; this gives their life more meaning and purpose.
How Do Pets Affect Our Social Life?
Meeting New People
While we give our pets the walkies, we usually do it in the park. It is inevitable to meet new people in the park because that’s where most of the people take their pets. Often, when pets meet other animals, they become instant friends. And when pets become friends, the owners become friends too.
Relieving Social Anxiety
Pets typically reduce social anxiety. Upon meeting new people, having pets with you always give you something to talk about. They help us connect with others. The people you see on the street wouldn’t have the guts to speak to you, but if you had a loving companion around, they just probably will. People tend to be interested in your pet’s life first before yours, so that’s an excellent way of improving your anxiousness.
Pets give us purpose in life. Apart from the fun and the cuteness, they contribute to improving our physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s an all-in-one thing. There are many other ways for self-care, but having pets around is a different kind of therapy. It’s an effortless everyday improvement with which we would not be aware of until we become well and happy.
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