In the face of fear, some people may be more inclined to flee than face it. But for others, facing fear head-on can be a helpful way to overcome it. Pets can be great companions when we’re afraid. They can help us cope with our fears by providing comfort and love.
Whether you have rats or raccoons, cats or camels, pets have been shown time and time again to improve people’s lives. Many pet owners will tell you their furry friend has changed their life for the better, and now science has backed up these claims as well. Numerous studies have found that owning a pet can help reduce stress, increase self-esteem, increase happiness, and decrease loneliness.
Here are five ways your pets can help you cope with fear:
Pets can provide comfort when we’re afraid.
When scary thoughts are swirling around in our head, it can be difficult to get any rest. But if you have a pet nearby, they can actually reduce your stress levels and help you relax, making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep. It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but there are a few theories.
One is that pets have a calming effect on us because we associate them with caretaking and being loved as children. Another theory is that pets release oxytocin in us, which is the hormone that helps us feel more relaxed.
Even if you’re not sleeping, having a pet nearby can still help you feel comforted and loved, especially when you’re anxious or afraid.
Pets can be a distraction from scary situations.
Another way pets help us cope with fear is by distracting us. When we’re already feeling stressed or scared, we may not have the energy to actively work on trying to calm down. A pet can provide a distraction that can help you take your mind off your worries.
Depending on the type of pet you have, you could take a walk with your dog, play with your cat or take care of your fish. All of these activities can help you take your mind off whatever is causing you stress or fear and give you time to calm down and regain control.
It’s important to keep in mind that your pet may be feeling stressed out or scared, too. If you have a particularly energetic dog, it might not be a good idea to walk them if there is a ton of noise in the neighborhood. Similarly, playing with your cat may not be a good idea if there is lots of loud, chaotic activity going on.
Pets can help us be less stressed out and feel more in control, but they are individuals with their own needs and desires, so it’s important to respect this.
Pets can help us recognize that not all fear is bad.
While most of us are familiar with the idea that fear can be helpful, pets can help us see that even scary fears can be beneficial and normal. And while it’s true that we need to be careful not to let our fears take over our life and prevent us from living it, pets can help us differentiate between irrational fears and normal and helpful fears.
Once you have a pet, you quickly learn that everything isn’t always going to go your way. You may experience the occasional loss, or your pet may have a negative reaction to something you’re doing.
When you have pets, you may experience the feeling of failing — and that’s normal. While it’s important to try to correct your mistakes, it’s also important to remember that we regularly fail in our lives and it’s a learning opportunity. Pets can help us see that our fears are normal, and that we can learn from them and use them to our advantage.
Pets can show us that there is good in the world, even when we’re scared.
When fear and worry creep into our lives, it can be easy to focus on all the bad that could happen. Pets can help us be grateful and appreciate the small things in life.
While we should definitely be careful not to let our fear prevent us from doing good in the world, it’s also important to take time to appreciate the good already around us. Pets can help you do this by giving you a reminder each day of the goodness and love in the world — even when you’re feeling scared and alone.
When you have animals in your life, you encounter situations every day where you are helping others. Taking care of your pets and providing for them is a good way to do this and can help you remember that you can still do good when you’re afraid.
Pets can help us feel more connected to the world around us.
When we’re scared, it can be easy to close ourselves off from the world and seek shelter in our homes. Pets can help us break out of this pattern and re-engage with the world around us. Having pets can encourage us to go outside and engage with the community, stretch our comfort zone and remind us to remain open to the world.
Whether you decide to adopt a dog and go on walks with your neighbours, or you get a large fish tank where you can observe different species, having a pet can help you grow and engage with the world around you.
A pet can help you with all of these things, but it’s important to remember that every person and every pet is different. If you’re having trouble coping with your fears and want a pet, it’s important to adopt responsibly. Not everyone can take on the responsibility of caring for a pet, but if you think you can provide a loving home for another creature, there are lots of options out there.
If you have been feeling anxious or stressed, consider adopting a pet or taking care of one that already lives with you. They can provide you with lots of love and companionship, and help you deal with your fears in the best way possible: by facing them head on.
To learn meditation to help you conquer fear, consider taking a class with us! We teach how humans can meditate with animals to help reduce anxiety, stress and fear. Check out our classes HERE.