Every single human being experiences times of stress and anxiety throughout their lifetime. Whether it’s an intense traumatic event or a smaller stressor like a dentist appointment, our pets can help us through even the worst of times. Science proves that petting our animals lowers blood pressure and assists in healing other bodily ailments. But how exactly do our pets do this? How can they help heal us? This post will discuss how pets can help us with stress and anxiety.
How Pets Can Help Us With Stress and Anxiety
I’ve been practicing mindfulness for years. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s basically about living in the present moment and focusing on “the now.” Being mindful is a daily practice, and even then you’re not always perfect at it. It’s especially difficult for me to be mindful when I’m going through a stressful time in my life. Pets can help bring us back to the present moment. When I’m crying, frustrated or anxious I stop what I’m doing to just sit with my animals. I put everything down to play with Wynston or pet my cats, and focus on it. Often times switching my focus to Wynston takes my anxiety away, even if it’s just briefly.
Taking your dog on a walk will get you moving and improve the bond with your dog. Try a new hike or visit a new park. Enjoying the fresh air with your dog is a great stress reducer for everyone! Exercise will improve your mood, and your dog will love you for it. If you’re suffering from depression, even a short walk can help a lot. And trust me, I know.
Put Your Phone Down
Seriously. Put your phone down. Although it’s been proven that phone notifications offer a hit of dopamine to the brain, it’s also been proven that we live in a much more miserable time because people are addicted to their phones. So put your phone down to play with your dog. Leave it at home when you go on a walk. Yes, I always take photos of Wynston, but I always leave my phone at home for our normal walks. You may see all the photos I take of Wyn, but you don’t see all of the times I spend time with him, no phone in hand. It’s refreshing. You need to unplug every now and then.
Pet Your Dog or Cat
Petting an animal can almost instantly lower blood pressure and reduce stress. There’s a reason therapy animals visit hospitals! Pet your dog or cat. It’s simple!
Share Your Pet
Your pet will bring smiles to everyone around them, and helping others will help YOU. So bring your dog to visit a friend or a hospital. Putting a smile on someone’s face will also put a smile on yours! Share your pet. You never know when your dog could make someone else’s day, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that!
No matter what kind of pet you have, they can help relieve you of stress and anxiety, especially during traumatic events or illness. How does your pet help you in times of need?