mental health

How relating with pets help us to improve our mental health and happiness

Every time I am coming in touch with a domestic animal I can feel it right away. I am feeling an innate deep joy, a feeling of happiness and I am becoming more relaxed and calm. Most importantly, I am feeling being in the present. My furry friend has the ability to constanlty keep my mind in “the here and now “, distracting me for any worries and thoughts about the past or future. I consider this to be the best benefit that relating with animals can offer.

Most of people have seem to report the same or similar feeling when interacting with a pet. Studies have consistently found that interacting with pets can benefit people in a variety of ways resulting in an improved mental and physical health.

  • Pets can help you reduce depression and make you happier. Stroking, cuddling, sitting next to or play with your pet can boost your brain to release oxytocin that reduces blood pressure and lowers cortisol. This results in feeling more relaxed, lessens anxiety and stress and improves feelings of happiness and joy.
  • Pets decrease isolation and enhance social skills and social interactions. Mainly when owning a dog, you have to get him out to parks t least one time a day. Studies have shown that people who are out with a pet are more approachable and it’s easier for them to start a conversation and meet new people. It’s more likely too that they will expand their social network and meet again with other pet owners to arrange walks, play dates or just meet again at the same park.
  • Moreover, pets consist a motivation for exersice. If gym, classes and jogging feel boring for you, running out and playing with your pet, usually your dog, is an activity that you do not only try to avoi but also makes you feel happy, joyful and energetic.
  • Pets give a daily purpose. When deciding that you want to add a new furry friend at your family the amount of responsibilities you gain are quite many however, taking care and petting your animal is also very rewarding. Knowing that you have a pet that its survival is entirely up to you gives you a purpose to get up from bed every morning and start living.
  • Pets offer companionship and reduce loniless and boredom. When at home, it is quite often that you may feel lonely and bored. If you own a pet you will constantly have someone next to you, willing to spent time with you, making you have fun and spent a joyful time with.
  • Finally pets help you live at the present and be always at here and now. When interacting with your furry friend, your mind is destructed from every other exogenous thought, your worries are blocked , and your focus is at the present moment not at the past or the future. Pets help you be mindful and the benefits of this are well known for both physical and mental health.

To sum up, owning a pet can proved to be very beneficial and enhance your happiness and well being. However, pets come with a lot of responsibilities and owning a pet just for the benefits it offers to your health is not efficient neither for you or your pet. The good news though, are that even if your daily routines do not allow you to own a pet you can still find ways to benefit from their interactions. Regular visits to friends and family members with pets, simple visits to parks where owners walk their dogs, petsit or dogwalk in your spare time (voluntary or not-you can do this as a spare job) or even volunteering for organizations and charities that help animals can all give you a way to interact and spent time with these adorable friends.

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