Owning a Pet Is Better For Your Mental Health Than You Think!
If you’re a pet owner, you will most certainly agree that the bond that develops between humans and pets is a powerful one. Of course, there are the immediate joys that come along with owning a pet like the weird and wonderful quirks they have and the good times you share together out on walks or snuggles on the sofa. However, recent studies have uncovered that there is, in fact, a lot of supporting evidence that caring for pets is highly beneficial for mental health.
Having a dog means you will have to walk them frequently which translates into more physical activity for you. Taking your pet for a walk, hike, or run is an important task because it has been found that the activity actually eases the symptoms of anxiety, depression, tension, and even those related to actual diseases of the mind like PTSD and bipolar disorder. You are highly likely to meet your daily quota of exercise – especially if your pet is active! Animals love their exercise, so both of you will be benefitting from this. It will also work to deepen the connection between you and your pet, and help minimize any behavioral issues with dogs, keeping your pet happy and healthy.
There’s nothing like the raw, honest, and sincere relationship a pet owner shares with their animal — whatever it is. This sense of companionship goes a long way in the prevention of illnesses and has the power to prolong your life. Caring for a pet like a dog or a cat can help make you feel wanted, needed, and even loved which are important feelings for a human being to feel for a healthy mind. Pets have the ability to draw focus away from their owners’ lives which is especially beneficial for those who live alone and would otherwise feel very lonely and shut off from the world. Most pet owners talk to their pets and think nothing of it – it is absolutely normal.
It’s only natural for a pet owner to get along with another pet owner. Having a love for your pet is something you share in common, and there can be a lot to talk about on this alone. You can easily meet other pet owners by walking in the park with your pet, for example, or when you go to the vet. It is an opportunity to meet and speak to people you otherwise wouldn’t speak to and is a great way to offer opportunities for socializing with ease. In fact, just walking your dog can open doors to new conversations with new people even if they are not pet owners. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental disorders can benefit from small doses of socializing that comes their way!
Sensory Stress Relief
It is no secret that human beings value touch and movement as important stress management tools. Without some form of physical touch or bonding, human beings can quickly fall into anxiety and a sense of something missing from their lives. Even the warmth of your furry friend and their appreciation of your nuzzles and snuggles can help your body release the hormones brought about through physical touch, helping ease your anxiety and stress. This is also how pet owners actually have a lower blood pressure than the general population and are able to calm down quicker from whatever emotional turmoil they may experience.
A Sense Of Meaning
For some people, owning a pet provides them with a sense of meaning so profound that they are able to work through things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to on their own. Human beings are very emotional creatures, and they deeply benefit from the unconditional love an animal can provide. Animals don’t betray you, and they love you no matter what. Having that unconditional love in endless amounts will make you feel content and encouraged as opposed to feeling listless or let down by other human beings.
The benefits of owning a pet and developing a strong bond with them are numerous, and until you actually experience the joy of having a pet, you will never truly understand or appreciate just how much of an impact it makes in every area of your life. Owning a pet is highly beneficial for mental health as we have seen and discussed, and getting a pet can help you maintain mental health and a sense of satisfaction in life that is hard to come by. They aren’t called “man’s best friend” for nothing!
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