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If you struggle with stress and anxiety, getting a pet is a great way to treat it. Pets provide a lot of exceptional emotional and mental health benefits, making you feel happier, more energetic, and of course, make you feel loved. Here are some different ways, having pets can improve your stress, anxiety, and depression.
Pets Provide Good Distractions
The first way pets can help with your different mental health conditions is by providing a good distraction for you. You might find that your life is overwhelming with everything that is going on, and some days you just need a mental break. It is on these days when you can play with your rabbit, cuddle your cat, or take your dog outside to play fetch for a little while. Having pets, no matter what type of pets you prefer can really help distract you and give you something wonderful to focus on.
They Promote Exercise for Stress Relief
The additional exercise you get from having pets, especially dogs, can also be another reason you are able to battle mental health disorders, especially when you have high amounts of stress. With dogs, you are able to play with dogs, throw a ball outside, and take them for walks. This allows you to get a lot more exercise than you might have without having a dog. Other pets also like to play and be active, so don’t rule out smaller indoor pets as well. These can also provide more physical activity that benefits you on a mental and physical level.
When you take time to walk your dogs outside in nature, you’re gaining valuable Vitamin C. Plus, you’re getting the experience of hearing the birds chirp, seeing beautiful butterflies fly in front of you, and watching your dog do funny things. My dog loves to pick up leaves and carry them. She also likes picking up sticks that almost bigger than her little behind.
Dogs Can Recognize the Signs of a Panic Attack
With dogs, another unique benefit to having this type of pet is that they can recognize the signs of a panic attack. If you have severe anxiety that is linked to panic attack disorder, having a dog can truly be your best friend. Some dogs are trained to alert someone if you need help, but mostly they can provide a comfort to you when they know you are in distress. If you need others to leave you alone, the dog can also warn others to back off if they try to come close to you when you are in the middle of a panic attack.
I know my dogs are extra clingy towards me when I’m in a down mood. If I’m anxious they are quick to distract me and make me pet them. Spyro and Muffin both will both cuddle up and ride my arms if they have to as I work.
Unconditional Love Reduces Depression
You may also find that your depression is a little better when you have a pet. Pets offer you unconditional love, where they want to cuddle and be around you constantly, without asking for anything in return other than your love and attention. This is especially true when your depression is so great that just being alone can be hard to deal with on a day to day basis.
There have been many cases where animals have drastically helped a person in more ways than one. Animals can be a service animal for people in various forms. Dogs who help with stress and anxiety and only help with their owner’s emotions are typically referred to as emotional support dogs.
How has an animal helped you with your stress and anxiety?