A pet’s playful and loving nature immediately lifts your spirits and their constant need for your attention and unconditional love has a positive effect on a pet owner’s confidence, making them feel important, loved, needed, and most importantly, relaxed. Therefore, it is not a surprise that many therapists tend to keep tiny animals (such as hamsters) in their office because they put children (as well as adults) at ease in an otherwise anxiety prone environment.
Dog owners realize the importance of taking their pet out for a walk, making it a part of their own daily routine. This custom acts as a stress reliever because exercise releases endorphins, our body’s ‘feel good hormone’, which gives us the boost we desperately need, subsequently decreasing ‘stress hormones’ such as cortisol.
While people provide good social support, pets act as a great icebreaker for meeting new people. There is a reason why a majority of romance movies follow the same cliché of having the protagonists meet for the first time in a park where one (or both) is walking a dog. The basic premise behind this is that we appear more approachable because instead of the daunting task of having to converse with somebody you are meeting for the first time, you can talk to (and through) the furry animal with the loving eyes. Increasing our network of friends also has great stress relief benefits in the long run.
Talk to your vet today about how you can include your pet in daily activities, allowing you to manage your stress even better. Pets are loyal by nature, and most can sense your emotions in times of suffering and pain. Let them take care of you in their own loving ways.