5 Reasons Pets Are Good for Anxiety

  • 20/05/2021

If you have anxiety, some of your best medicine might be your furry little friend. Pets can work wonders for folks with this condition.

What is it about animal companionship that helps ease stress levels and brings so much joy to people’s lives? Here are five reasons why pets are good for anxiety — consider adoption today.

1. They Extend Your Lifespan

What is the root of all fear? Many psychologists would argue it’s the fear that you will cease to exist. Even if you think your troubles stem from financial difficulties or fights with loved ones, ultimately, it’s your fear of losing your life or them from yours that causes grief. Knowing that everyone experiences death and loss doesn’t make the reality easier to bear.

Part of your worry probably stems from concerns about what will happen to your family once you die. You might even wonder if your mental illness will affect your life insurance rates. Fortunately, a history of mild depression or anxiety shouldn’t impact your policy much — and securing coverage could put one of your fears to rest.

However, your 4-legged friend could help it take longer for your beneficiaries to collect on your policy. According to research published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, dog ownership is associated with a 21% reduction in the risk of death.

Researchers suspect that the magic lies in the so-called cuddle hormone oxytocin. Getting an extra boost of this substance each day when you play with your pet reduces stress hormone levels, potentially reducing your risk of heart disease.

2. They Get You Moving

Another way pets help you live longer by improving your cardiovascular health is by inspiring you to exercise regularly. The effect is most pronounced if you have to take Fido for a daily walk. However, other animals also get your blood flowing.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women. Exercise improves cardiovascular health by helping your heart become more efficient, pumping more blood with each beat. This improvement allows the organ to beat more slowly, reducing your pulse and blood pressure.

Another way that the extra exercise pets provide is by flooding your body with feel-good endorphins. These natural chemicals act like opioids in easing mild pain and giving you a sense of euphoria. The effect lasts for hours after you hang up the leash from your walk.

3. They Have Magical Calmative Properties

Merely spending time with your furry friend, even without the leash, could help improve your cardiovascular health. Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia discovered that petting a dog can reduce human blood pressure by 10%, and the effects last for up to 15 to 30 minutes. Another 2002 study revealed that people decreased their numbers while working on tricky arithmetic problems when in the presence of their furry friends.

Please don’t think you have to forget your feline friend in favour of Fido alone. One study from the University of Minnesota found that cat owners are 30% less likely to die from a heart attack. Scientific American reports that the frequency of a cat’s purr can reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure.

Other studies find that cat ownership reduces stroke risk and boosts your immune function. Plus, kids raised with pets often have fewer allergies, meaning less sniffling, sneezing and trips to the store for more tissues.

4. They Give Much and Ask Little

Pets work wonders on anxiety because they give so much more than they demand. Your dog or kitty wants little more outside the basics except for your love and affection.

If your boss allows it, bringing your furry friend to the office could even make you more productive on the clock. Studies suggest that the presence of pets makes employees more cordial toward each other. It also facilitates communication, resulting in improved morale and reduced absenteeism.

If you are one of the many who transitioned to the work-from-home lifestyle during the pandemic, your canine or feline companion can help you beat the loneliness that so often accompanies this arrangement. They also provide a needed break from crunching numbers for that budget report.

5. They Offer Unconditional Love and Support

Pets help you to ease loneliness regardless of your working arrangements. Nearly 61% of young people rated this emotion as severe during the recent pandemic, leading to increased anxiety levels. You need the outlet that pets provide.

Pets also help to ease anxiety by offering unconditional love and support. As much as you might want to turn to human companionship when going through life’s hardships, the people around you can sometimes exacerbate your problems. You might not want to spend more time with your spouse if arguments create tension, but your cat or dog offers comfort.

Pets Are Good for Anxiety for These 5 Reasons

Pets are good for anxiety for the five reasons above. Why not head to your nearest shelter and adopt a new friend today?

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