5 REASONS OWNING A PET IS A POSITIVE AID TO GREAT MENTAL HEALTH.
Updated: Oct 21
Their adorable little faces are not the only thing they have going for them.
If you have a pet of the furry four-legged variety then you're probably well aware of the overwhelming sense of love you feel when your pet snuggles up close to you. Or the way they can do something silly that makes us smile, and suddenly a stressful work day fades into the distance. It's not just love. Your pet can have a real impact on your mental health and can measurably ease distressing symptoms from depression, anxiety, and more.
Whether you have depression, anxiety, or simply experience loneliness due to the isolation of covid-19, here's how your pet helps you cope with the daily stresses of everyday life.
#1. Having a pet increases hormones that make us feel good.
Studies have found that interaction with pets, specifically our own pets, increases the levels of some hormones including serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, which combats one of the hormones that causes stress, Cortisol. Another benefit, petting your own pets for 15 to 20 minutes a day has also been known to decrease blood pressure.
#2. A pet is the best trusted companion we can have.
For many people, family or friends are where we turn to discuss negative thoughts and fears without interruption or judgment. But what if your family or friends become unavailable, out of town, at work who can you turn to then? A pet can provide that support because your pet will never interrupt, criticize, or give unwanted advice and you can be sure they will keep your deepest, darkest secrets. They give unconditional love and that is all it takes to promote happiness and healing under even the worst of circumstance.
#3. The best, when you’re in need of a comforting presence.
When I was younger living alone, I remember coming home to an empty house, eat dinner, watch some TV and then go to sleep and wake up alone. Just to do it all over again. A pet can change this, a pet becomes like a roommate, offering a physical presence this lets you know you are not alone you have a furry little friend who loves cares and needs you, that all by it self truly can alleviate loneliness.
#4. A pet can be a great distraction.
One issue with depression is that sufferers may turn that pain or confusion inward and become obsessed with negative or suicidal thoughts. Studies have shown time and time again that Pets can bring their loved ones back into the present moment. Allowing time to get your mind off what has you down making you more mindful and aware of the surrounding environment. Our furry little friends, our pets can provide humour, comfort or love to help redirect our attention to something more important, Them. Truth be told, when my cat wants attention, he will not ask, he demands it, and it always makes me smile, even on the worst day, he can melt my heart.
#5. Will a pet promote exercise and social interaction?
My wife would tell you; our cat Oliver has done both, made me exercise more plus she truly believes that I have become more social because of our cat. I think she might be right having a pet has changed my habits and made me a happier soul. But for some people Isolation, depression and inactivity can be side effects of mental health issues, but any animal that needs to be exercised will help to get its owner outside and maybe even out into nature, which can improve happiness and world connectedness, this is what I feel My cat Oliver, has done for me.
Like anything good, there's always some bad, the bad is that there are many factors that can affect the great benefits of pet ownership, one is your pet's personality. What I mean is, an aggressive animal might increase your cortisol levels, this may lead you to avoiding social interactions which is not helpful when it comes to your mental health!
When you’re to busy to spend time with your furry little pal remember that a busy schedule or financial instability could also provide a barrier to positive interaction, if your mind is set on adopting a pet, then make sure to do some research and find a pet that best suits your personality, they could play a big part in your life, your recovery, or your entire wellbeing.
One of the best ways to bond with your pet is by celebrating them, take selfies, snuggle, laugh and love them. This is the best advice I can give you, but if you’re looking for a special way to celebrate the love you have for your best-fur-end, check out our pet apparel, with new designs weekly, we have t-shirts, mugs, blankets, phone and computer covers, pins, caps or anything else we could put cute and funny pets on just to make you smile, and remind you of that special little friend that changed your life. Find the T-shirt right for you or get an amazing gift for the pet lover in your life below: