If I asked you about your favorite way to de-stress, you might answer that you relax with yoga, mediation, painting, reading, or spending time with friends – including furry friends.
Research shows that people who have animals and love animals tend to be happier and less stressed in their lives. Just the act of petting your cat or dog reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Yet, our pets are mood lifters!
Here’s exactly how animals can reduce your stress and improve your health!
Animals Remind Us to Live in the Present
What do I mean? Well, take dogs for example. They don’t live in the future or past with fear and regret. They take each moment as it comes & revel in it! Of course, it’s hard for us humans to do, but trying to stay grounded & focused on the here & now helps reduce our anxiety and stresses, which obviously improves our health!
Dogs Will Wake You Up Early
For those of us who want to start getting up earlier to get some exercise in before work, a playful pup will have you out of bed at the break of dawn. Dogs are creatures of habit, so they will be at your bedside nudging you unfailingly for your 6 AM run.
Dogs Will Always Have More Energy Than You
One of the best parts about having a pet is that it will always want to play. How many times have you had a gym or running partner flake on you only minutes before you were planning on exercising? A dog will never cancel, making it more difficult for you to justify skipping the exercise. Think of them as the partner who is better than you— the one you strive to be like.
Pets Give Unconditional Love
And therefore, they fend off loneliness. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes, pets are so much better company than people. For one, no matter what you do, or what your mood is, they will ALWAYS love you. Secondly, they will never EVER judge you, or turn their backs on you. They are the best little companions. Bonus!
Pets Make You Appreciate The Little Things
Think about it, pets never take anything for granted. They totally depend on you to love them, take care of them, etc., all the while soaking up every ounce of life they possibly can. They (figuratively & literally) stop to smell the roses. I think that’s something we can all learn from, especially with our busy schedules.
Moral of the story: If you want to de-stress and improve your health, spend time with your pet. And if you don’t have any animal family members, there’s nothing like volunteering at a rescue, animal shelter or animal sanctuary. Giving your time to help animals in need will improve your attitude and make your heart smile.
Jamie Lee is an Animal Relationship Specialist. She uses a number of tools and her understanding of the human/animal bond to bring healing to people and their pets.