Research shows that pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief and numerous other health benefits.
Their names are Carly and Misty. They are my source of stress at times as we train each other, and my cuddly companions when curling up on the couch at the end of the day.
Pets Can Improve Your Mood:
For those who love animals, it’s virtually impossible to stay in a bad mood when a furry warm head snuggles up to you, even if you are really ill.
One study found that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet. Men with AIDS who did not own a pet were about three times more likely to report symptoms of depression than men who did not have AIDS.
Research shows that pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief and numerous other health benefits. Click to tweet
Pets Control Blood Pressure Better Than Drugs:
While blood pressure drugs can generally reduce blood pressure, they aren’t as effective on controlling spikes in blood pressure due to stress and tension.
Hypertensive New York stockbrokers who went out and got a dog or cat were found to have lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who didn’t go out and get a pet.
Research has also shown that heart attack victims who have pets live longer.
Even watching a tank full of tropical fish may lower blood pressure, at least temporarily.
A study of 92 patients hospitalized in coronary care units for angina or heart attack found that those who owned pets were more likely to be alive a year later than those who did not. The study found that only 6 percent of patients who owned pets died within one year compared with 28 percent of those who did not own pets.
Pets Stave Off Loneliness and Provide Unconditional Love:
Pets can be there for you in ways that people can’t. They can offer love and companionship, and can also enjoy comfortable silences, keep secrets and are excellent snugglers. They could be the best antidote to loneliness.
Research shows that nursing home residents reported less loneliness when visited by dogs than when they spent time with other people.
They connect to our nurturing side and help to pull us outside of ourselves and our thoughts. Pets learn to sense emotions from humans based on their affection levels and their actions. If the human is withdrawn the pet senses that something is wrong or different and attempts to change the human’s behavior maybe by nudging them or curling up to their body for heat when they are unsuccessful at producing a response.
Pets Can Reduce Stress—Sometimes More Than People:
While we all know the power of talking about your problems with a good friend but research shows that spending time with a pet may be even better!
People experienced less stress when their pets were with them when performing a stressful task than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present! This may be partially due to the fact that pets don’t judge us; they just love us.
In another study people undergoing oral surgery spent a few minutes watching tropical fish in an aquarium. The relaxation level was measured by their blood pressure, muscle tension, and behavior. It was found that the subjects who watched the fish were much more relaxed than those who did not watch the fish prior to the surgery. People who watched the fish were as calm as another group that had been hypnotized before the surgery.
Pets Encourage You To Get Out And Exercise:
Whether we walk our dogs because they need it, or are more likely to enjoy a walk when we have companionship, owning a dog can increase our overall exercise.
It’s important to realize that owning a pet isn’t for everyone. Pets can make additional work and add to our responsibilities. However, for most people, the benefits of having a pet outweigh the drawbacks.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Your Resiliency and Celebrating Love Your Pet Day:
- If you don’t have a pet and are considering one – carefully consider your family’s lifestyle and the needs of the pet you choose. A good fit will reduce stress and not add to your stress load.
- If you have a pet – give them some extra attention today – throw the frisbee, roll the ball, snuggle on the couch or give an extra treat – you will both enjoy and benefit from it.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!