Pets have an incredibly positive impact on the lives of their humans. It is almost impossible to put into words the happiness, love and contentment pets bring into your life. They are there for you every single day with no judgement showing unconditional love and joy to see and be with you. More and more we rely on our pets for emotional support. And, the bond shared with your pet is good for your mental health.
Do you rely on your pet for emotional support?
It will come as no surprise that welcoming a dog or cat into your life is good for your health. Most pet owners consider their pet as part of the family. In a survey, 74% of respondents said owning a pet improved their mental health. There are so many benefits to having a pet as a companion.
These days pets are so in tune to the humans they live with that they can read your behaviour and how you feel. Dogs can understand the words you speak but are even better at reading body language, tone of voice and your gestures. Your dog will look deeply into your eyes to judge your emotional state. And then give you just what you need such as doing something silly to make you laugh or sitting close if you need comforting. They may also try to understand what you are thinking and feeling to work when you are going to take them for a walk or give them a treat.
Dogs and cats, in particular, help to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Life is not so lonely when you have a pet. They encourage you to get out of the house and are an endless source of entertainment encouraging you to play with them.
Children with a pet can grow up more active and secure when they have the responsibility of caring for a pet. And they are valuable companions for older adults. Pets bring real joy and unconditional love to every part your life.
Here are just a few ways pets have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Boost neurotransmitter production
Cuddling, patting and interacting with a pet increases your serotonin and dopamine levels. These are the neurotransmitters linked to feeling pleasure and which help you feel calmer. Looking into the eyes of your pet can make you feel loved which decreases depression and helps you feel more able to look after and love others.
Your pet reminds you of the important things in life. They ground you. And they are good at reminding you to have fun and show you how to find enjoyment in life. Many studies find a pet helps to decrease anxiety, boost your immunity and help you relax. Pets make you to feel loved, safe and secure.
Pets add daily routine and encourage self-care
Pets add routine to your daily life and encourage self-care. They need regular feeding and dogs need an exercise schedule. This helps to give your animal a balanced life. And it can help you too look after yourself. Your pet staring at you when they think you should be going for a walk or feeding them can get you moving. No matter how you feel—stressed, anxious or depressed—your pet can get you out of the house and help you have your own routine.
Pets encourage you to have better self-care when feeling depressed or you have other mental health issues. They give you a renewed sense of meaning so you get out of bed with a purpose every day. Your pet makes you feel needed. They cannot get by without your care. Pets are totally reliant on you for everything. This can inspire you to take better care of yourself so you can better look after your pet. Walking, feeding, playing and cleaning up after a pet are all things you need to do every day. It can give your life structure.
We all have bad days. No one is immune. Are you always on the go with too much to do? Does watching what is happening in society make you feel as if everything is out of control? Are you feeling overwhelmed with little or no support? Many of us feel this way but when we get home our pets make the world seem alright. No matter how stressed, anxious or frustrated you feel, your pet greets you with pure joy and everything else melts away. All they want is to be with you. Jumping up for a cuddle, nudging your hand for a pat. A meow or woof as a greeting makes you forget the stresses, fear and sadness of the day.
In a world that is more than hectic, we often forget to look after ourselves. And this will have a negative effect on your mental health. Taking care of your pet can remind you to take care of yourself. Pets push you to get out of bed, play, exercise and sleep regularly. They give you structure and routine to look after yourself which helps manage any mental health issues you have. Pets bring you pure joy.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Owning a pet can reduce anxiety, stress, depression and loneliness. They offer unconditional companionship and help you relax and feel calm in their presence. This can have a positive effect on how you deal with challenging situations. Pets can help you build self-confidence especially if you have anxiety about being out and about in the world. Because a dog needs regular exercise, it gives you the self-confidence to face the world with their support.
Pets live in the moment. They do not worry about what happened yesterday or what can occur tomorrow. By watching and interacting with them you can become more mindful and appreciate living in the moment. They teach you to let go of the past and not to worry about the future.
Pets of all sorts are fantastic companions. When you do not feel so great and want to hide from the world, your pet is there to keep you company. They are great to talk to even though they do not talk back. Your dog or cat has the capacity to make you feel better with a simple gesture such as sitting close to you. Or your dog may just lean their body against you for support.
Isolation and loneliness can trigger the symptoms of depression but if you have a pet, they can prevent you from falling ill. A dog or cat gives you something to care for. This can help take the focus away from worrying about your problems especially when you live on your own. Nothing is better than coming home to the purring of a cat or wagging tail of a dog so excited to see you.
Dogs encourage you to exercise
Dogs increase your level of exercise. They thrive on daily exercise which means that by walking together you shed a few kilograms too. Enjoy the fresh air with your dog. It clears your head of any problems by the time you have enjoyed time out with your dog. It deepens your connection with each other, eradicates most behavioural problems you dog may have and keeps you both fit and healthy.
Do not think of walking your dog as a chore. It is a great opportunity to socialise and meet new people. With the support of your dog, it can be easy to meet new people when out walking together. This is a great way to manage any social anxiety you may feel. It is easy to strike up a conversation when you are talking about your dog in the pet shop, park, at a club or in training classes.
Pets are non-judgemental
Pets are non-judgemental. You never have to explain yourself to them. They do not criticise if the house is not perfect or you have not left the house for a few days. You do not have to impress them with the way you look or your wit. A pet is just happy to be with you no matter what.
A pet helps you feel connected and loved when it is otherwise hard to find from others in your life. When you have a pet you always feel loved and needed. This can dramatically improve mental health symptoms and how they affect your life. An animal can help you reengage with the world and be a stepping stone to building more meaningful relationships with others.
Animals are therapeutic
Animals are therapeutic. They fulfill the basic need for touch. Hugging, stroking, touching and loving your pet can be calming and quickly soothe you when feeling stressed or anxious.
A pet is a great cure for loneliness and can make you feel happier so there is no room to feel depressed. They give you a sense of purpose as you get older. Boost your morale and sense of self-worth at any age. Pets give you so much more than they take. All they want from you is regular food, to play and all the love you have to give.
We are here to help
Overcoming mental health issues is tough. Even when you have support, you may feel people do not really understand. And even if your pet does understand, sometimes you need a little more. If you are struggling, consider reaching out. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can work with you over the phone or via Skype and our Spas are open. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with the challenges of mental health issues. With our help, you can soon reduce the anxiety and look forward to a future filled with happiness and joy and an even better connection with your pet.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you deal with stress, anxiety and depression for more than a decade. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues. I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what Alicia has to say about my program after only a few sessions.