Have you ever noticed that you feel better after playing with your pet whether it be taking your dog on a walk or grooming your bunny? Pets improve our mental health and make us happier through their unconditional love and support. When you walk through the door and your cat or dog greets you, don’t you feel better? Even if you had a horrible day, seeing how happy your pet is to see you alters your behavior and makes you feel happier.
Chemical Changes in the Body
Some of what pets do to help us feel better is science. Psychologists and scientists studied the effects of pets on mental health and found that pets help people relax and be less anxious. Touching and playing with your pet helps increase oxytocin and decrease cortisol. Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone” and is important for trust and bonding. Psychology Today calls oxytocin the “antidote to depression.” Cortisol is the stress hormone, responsible for the “fight or flight response.”
Those suffering from depression have improved well being and mental health with their emotional support animals, as they feel less lonely. Feelings of sadness can be a symptom of depression or depression. If you think you may have clinical depression or anxiety and your pet helps you feel better, you may be eligible to make your pet an emotional support animal. Any pet can become an emotional support animal. Take the Certapet 5-minute pre-screening to see if you have a qualifying mental condition.
When people feel sad, they often feel alone and disconnected from others. Feelings of isolation and not having anyone to confide in makes periods of sadness last longer. Pets think the world of their owners, forgiving and forgetting any mistakes. They give us acceptance and love free of judgment.
Even on our lowest days, having a pet increases self-esteem. Your role as a “pet parent” lets you know you are able to take of something other than your self. You are capable of handling the responsibility and everything you do right reinforces these positive attributes and thoughts.
Read Also: 10 Skills Your Dog Needs To Learn and Why
Routine & Activity
Pets give us a set routine that you must follow every day. They rely on us to care for them. This routine helps break us out of negative thoughts and is a constant that we can count on. It’s hard to focus on your sad thoughts when you have to get up and feed your pet or take them for a walk. Pets also need more than just food and water. They need attention and playtime. Playtime is a perfect distraction from negative thoughts and the different sources of sadness in our lives.
Pets make our lives better by improving our mental health and well being through their unconditional love and support. When we’re feeling sad, they improve our self-esteem and give us a routine that helps to break away from negative thoughts. Even on our worst days, our pets think the world of us and help push away sad feelings and thoughts. Learn more about how your pet can help improve your mental health.