How Our Pets Relieve Stress
If you own a dog, you probably already know that studies tell you that: your pet makes you feel better.
- Dogs give you unconditional love, no questions.
- Seem to know exactly what you are feeling.
- They can make you laugh, and they can make you cry.
- All your feelings of love and sharing, your pets can pick you up when you’re feeling down and make you feel less stressed.
But is there scientific proof on the subject?
Two Studies Have Shown That Pets Increase Confidence and Lower Stress
Two important 2012 studies, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, examined the impact pets have on human emotions.
The first one study, the participants were divided into three groups.
- One group had a pet close by
- The second was asked to think about a pet
- And for the third, pets weren’t even in the picture.
They were then told to list their goals and how confident they were in achieving them. The first two groups came up with a longer list of goals. Plus,were significantly more confident they could achieve them.
In the second group, participants where divided into the same three groups.
- Except this time they were asked to perform a stressful task and monitored any changes in their blood pressure.
- Those who had pets nearby or were thinking of pets had noticeably lower blood pressure.
What does this show us? That having pets close to you, or even just thinking about your pets, has the effect of lowering stress.
Here Are Some of The Other Ways Pets Relieve Stress?
- They lower your blood pressure:Research shows this by the results of the two studies cited above. It was also found that just the act of petting a dog or cat, or even simply being with them or looking at them, can positively notice a drop in blood pressure.
- They help increase heart health: Several studies shows that pets have a positive impact on heart health.
- They inspire us to exercise more frequently: On average dog owners get more exercise, which helps reduce both stress and depression. This is the case because they walk and play with them outside.
- We don’t feel lonely with a pet: Humans are social beings, the feeling of being alone is a common cause of stress. Our pets provide companionship, which decreases loneliness. But also allows us to have friendly interactions with other people, which further reducing stress.
- They help us live in the moment: “Stress really is reliving the past and worrying about the future.” Pets reduce the tendency to focus on past mistakes or worry about future problems. Something the simple act of playing fetch with your dog can keep you rooted to the present, reducing the stress associated with the past and what the future might hold.
- Our pets fulfill our need for touch: Psychologists have long known the importance of touch to psychological health. In a recent article in Psychology Today, noted that physical touch decreases violence, builds trust, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress. All pet owners reap the rewards and benefits of touch, but it’s especially important for the increasing number of those who live alone, or are currently forced to self-isolate.
- They increase your feelings of self-esteem: A recent study showed that pet owners had better self-esteem than non-pet owners. Our Pets contributed to a decrease in overall stress levels.
- They make us laugh: According to studies at the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces our stress levels and reduces tension. If you own a dog, the chances are you spend a lot deal of time laughing, and that’s always good for your health.
Your pet, whether it’s a dog or a cat or a bird, iguana or rabbit, gives you a lot every day. The health benefits alone, such as stress reduction, are reason enough for you to want the very best for them, including their own health and happiness.