Pets and Stress Relief: How Your Pet Can Help You Relieve Your Stress
It's a proven fact that the pets that we love so much do actually help to relieve our stress... something that many pet owners probably already suspected.
I am personally a huge animal lover and so this is a particular topic that I am very excited to share with you.
Our pets are great companions. They can help us avoid feelings of loneliness and are often our confidants... they make great listeners. And unless you've trained your pet to talk (as you can with some birds) they don't give back talk or argue.
Many animals can provide a feeling of warmth and comfort with a cuddle which helps to increase our emotional connection with them and increase our feelings of happiness and love.
Caring for our pets can also increase our self-confidence by giving us someone and something to be responsible for.
Research has shown that exercise is one of the top ways to reduce and prevent stress. Caring for a dog can require a fair amount of physical activity. Dogs require exercise themselves and need to be walked. By going on walks with your dog, you are not only going to get all of the benefits of the exercise itself, but you'll have a great walking partner that can help you have fun and also keep you safe if you're walking alone.
In addition to walking, many pets love active play. Whether it's throwing a ball or a frisbee or simply getting on the floor for some "rough-housing", playing with your pets is another great way to get stress relief through physical activity and exercise.
Did you know that research has shown that spending time with a pet can actually reduce blood pressure and lower your heart rate? Great news, right? High blood pressure and increased heart rate are both negative health affects of stress. Knowing that your best furry friend can help to combat those symptoms is just one more silent benefit to having them around.
Pets also increase the "love chemical" oxytocin in our brains. In addition, they can also increase our serotonin, known as the "happiness chemical". Both of these things can help to reduce or even prevent stress and proves that our pets can increase our feelings of happiness and help to improve our moods.
I don't know about you, but nothing cheers me up more after a rough day of work than being greeted by the unconditional love of my pets. When I come home from work everyday, my pit bull acts as if it's the best day ever... simply because I came home. It really just makes my day and can instantly make me forget about anything negative that I may have been thinking.
If you don't have a pet and you are able to get one, I urge you to consider it. They can really provide a great friend, a lot of fun, unconditional love, as well as stress relief. If you're looking to add to your family, please help the many pets in need of a good home and adopt.