5 Ways Pets Can Improve Our Mental Health
If you haven’t heard or read about it yet, having pets can benefit your health, especially your mental health. Animals have their way of making you feel happy, meaningful, and loved to an incredible degree.
In fact, there are studies that the number of people treating their pets as a family member—sometimes, a kid of their own—is incredibly growing. There’s an unexplainable strong bond between humans and animals, and there are several types of research that prove pets can make their owners’ mental health healthy.
No matter what age you’re in, pets perfectly know how to make you feel like you’re the best person in the world. They have the ability to lessen your depression, anxiety, and stress in a way that only they can do with the joy and unconditional love they give.
Lowering Stress Hormones
Studies say petting and playing with your pets or animals can help reduce your stress hormones, even with only five minutes of interaction. This means that they can be helpful for anyone who has anxiety to feel calm and a little stress-free.
Playing with cats or dogs helps raise your serotonin and dopamine levels, making you feel calm and relaxed. If the interaction also results in laughing or smiling, then it may help stimulate the release of happy hormones – credits to these animals.
Protecting Kids from Childhood Anxiety
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals a pet dog may help protect kids from anxiety. In the 643 kids who participated in the research, researchers learned that 21% of kids who had no pet dogs had tested positive for anxiety, while only 12% of children with pet dogs tested positive.
It seems to show that having pets at a young age helps to avoid stress and anxiety. The study also reveals that children who grow up with pets may have a higher chance of becoming happy and healthy teenagers.
Increasing Self-Esteem and Well-Being
American Psychological Association published three studies Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted about the pet ownership benefits. It shows pet owners have also improved well-being in different areas.
They tend to have better self-esteem, become more physically fit, happier, diligent, and attentive. They also gain a feeling of belonging and having meaning in life. All credits go to your pets as they can’t only make you happier but healthier, too.
Supporting Mental Health Issue Recovery
A meta-analysis studies 17 academic papers from nine medical databases that give evidence that having pets help support their humans to recover from a mental health issue. The evaluation analyzes how cats, dogs, hamsters, finches, and even goldfish can affect a person’s mental well-being.
It reveals that pets help the participants to manage their emotions, keeping their minds away from their mental health condition’s symptoms to a certain degree. They also help to make their owners feel in control, have a sense of security, and routine.
Building Healthy Habits
As pet owners are responsible for looking after their pets every day, this helps them build a healthy habit and routine.
For example, they have to take their pets for a walk, run, or hike regularly, which also unknowingly gives them the benefits of exercising. It gives them mental health benefits as well since they have to spend some time outdoors. This can even help them save as they don’t have to pay anything, such as gas, to go around.
Pet owners can turn into a morning person as well since they have to feed their dogs or cats at the said time regularly.