If there is one thing all pet owners agree on, it’s that our pets are nothing less than family members. They never fail to put a smile on our faces with their antics, but their presence may actually bring us much more than just laughs. Did you know that having your furry friend around is great for your mental health? Here’s how.
Anxiety and Stress Relief
Something as simple as giving your pet a belly rub can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. According to studies, a family dog can lower the risk of childhood anxiety, while other research has found a positive correlation between pets and reduced depression and PTSD symptoms. The presence of your pet can also lower your blood pressure. This isn’t only great news for your mental but also your physical health.
Giving Us Exercise
With a needy pet around, you’ll always have a reason to get up and leave the house. Walking your dog regularly will help you get some fresh air and much-needed physical exercise, which is crucial for sound mental health. Take your walks in a park, and the presence of nature will further reduce your stress and anxiety levels!
Loneliness and social isolation are serious depression and mortality risk factors, especially in older individuals. With a pet in your home, you’ll always have someone to praise, scold, or vent to. By taking care of your pet, you’re also maintaining a routine and taking care of yourself at the same time.
Making Us Happy
Finally, there’s scientific evidence that pets simply make us happier. Their unconditional love and devotion increase our dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels while potentially lowering our cortisol – the stress hormone.
Our pets give us so much happiness without even being aware of it, and this isn’t a subjective perception. As you can see, plenty of studies support the fact that pets can improve our mental health and are great to have around.