Pets are one of the greatest joys in life. They provide great companionship, they make us laugh, but they can also impact mental health in a positive way. Studies have shown that having a pet can boost your mood and health in a variety of ways, which could also be the reason many convalescent care facilities have been bringing animals in as companions for their elderly population for decades. But just how can they boost your mood? Here are some examples:
They help alleviate stress – The simple act of petting an animal can reduce stress and anxiety exponentially. As humans are soothed by the soft caress of someone who cares for us, we can also be calmed and comforted by delivering a kind touch to another being. In this way, pets can truly help relieve anxiety and panic.
They get you outdoors – If you have a dog, you know you have to take them for regular walks. This means fresh air, sunshine, and the ability to get a little bit of exercise. If you’re prone to crawling into bed with anxiety or depression, you know how refreshing and mood-boosting it can be to simply step outside your house. If you have a dog, you have a built-in routine that forces you to leave the house and get some perspective, which can really help your symptoms.
They keep you focused on the present – If you’re prone to PTSD, triggers can take you out of the current moment and into a very dark, scary place. Pets can help you stay in the here and now by playing, curling up with you, and simply being there for you.
They decrease loneliness – You have a companion for the rest of their lives, and they love being with you. You can’t really get lonely with a being that exists simply to be by your side and to love you. Which leads to…
They prevent isolation – Again, the act of being with an animal can prevent the tendency to shut the door and not see or speak to anyone. You have to interact with the animal; it’s unlikely they’ll just let you curl up without giving them some attention. Pets can help with a great many mental health symptoms, but their companionship truly prevents isolation.
They listen – Sometimes, you just need to get it out of your system, and they will listen to anything you have to say. Cry, complain, laugh – your pet will be there to absorb your innermost thoughts that no one has ever heard, and they will never judge you for it. Also, they will never tell a soul.
They love unconditionally – It’s been said before, but the joy of unconditional love makes the world a better place for all of us. Pets are there to love you and care for you the best way they know how, and all they ask is that you love them and care for them in return. It’s why human beings have had animal companions throughout the ages. We love each other, but there is no love like that of an owner and a pet, and it can make the world a better place for you both.
If you’re considering getting a pet, we’d like to suggest a rescue animal. There are adoptable pets in your area right now waiting to love you, boost your mood, and make your life better. Consider adopting one today.