Around 8 in 10 working Americans are afflicted by stress.
There are many useful solutions for coping with stress from mindful meditation to avoiding too much caffeine.
However, there is one solution to stress that people are increasingly talking about at the moment. That’s how dogs can help to reduce stress in our everyday lives.
Everyone who has a pet dog knows how they make them feel good. But, have you ever wondered WHY dogs can help to relieve stress?
Do you want to discover more about how dogs help humans? Check out our blog post below!
1. We Believe in Ourselves More
We don’t know much about the ingredients that help people believe in themselves.
Self-confidence is a tricky subject. But, we know that there are strong connections with stress and confidence.
People who suffer from stress are likely to lack self-esteem. However, what is shocking is how the human relationship with dogs can influence this as well.
This 2012 study divided a group of participants into 3 groups.
Group A had a pet nearby. Group B had to think about their pet. Group C were asked to complete a task which had nothing to do with their pet.
What happened when they were asked to talk about their goals and how confident they were about achieving them?
Group A and B were significantly more confident at listing and accomplishing goals compared with group C!
Further studies have also found evidence that pet owners have more self-esteem on average than non-pet owners. This helps us to overlook our fears and stresses in life.
2. Reduce Blood Pressure
When you’re stressed, your body produces hormones which increase your blood pressure.
This causes your heart to beat faster, which over time can cause a wide range of heart problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.
However, spending time in the presence of your pet dog, or even looking at them, can help to reduce your blood pressure.
Any dog owner knows that petting your dog is relaxing. But, you probably didn’t realize that it can cause your blood pressure to drop by up to 10 percent.
3. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Touching your pet dog can also improve your cardiovascular health generally.
This study shows that talking to your dog has a better impact on your heart health than talking with another human.
However, your dog can also help you spark connections with other dog-loving humans. Make sure you look your best next time you take your dog for a walk. Check out shop DSquared2 for luxury Children’s fashion items.
4. Our Pups Motivate us to Exercise
Around three-quarters of Americans don’t exercise enough. It’s not always easy to find the time to workout while you’re working full time.
Research shows that exercise and stress are also related.
The more stressed we are, the less physical activity we do. Lack of exercise also causes more stress. It’s a classic Catch-22!
When we exercise, the body releases endorphins which help to reduce stress. However, for many people, it’s always a challenge to find the motivation to workout.
If you’re a dog owner, you get more exercise because your dog needs it.
Your dog should be getting a minimum of 30-minutes of exercise per day. For many breeds, it should be significantly more than this.
Therefore, on average, dog owners get more exercise compared with non-dog owners.
5. Help to Combat Loneliness
Up to 76 percent of Americans say that they struggle with loneliness. People who are lonely display lower resilience to stressful situations.
Remember, human beings are social animals by nature. If you’re alone in the wild, it’s dangerous.
However, when you have a pet dog, you’re never lonely. People who are lonely are also less likely to maintain healthy human relationships.
Therefore, spending time with your pet hound can also improve your relationships with other people.
6. Living in the Present
What experts call “present-moment awareness” improves resilience to the stresses of daily life.
That’s why mindfulness is recommended for people who suffer from stress and other mental health problems.
However, there’s another solution to your stress problem. Spending time with man’s best friend helps you to focus on the here and now.
You stop worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. You forget about your concerns about the past.
Dogs are great at living in the moment. You’re just playing fetch or going for a walk in the park. At least for a while each day, you’re living in the present with your pooch.
7. Our Need to be Touched
We have known the importance of touch among human beings for some time.
Research has shown that simply holding the hand of someone else can reduce stress. This is why people do it before they enter a stressful situation.
That’s why a growing number of people who suffer from stress are being given pet dogs and other animals to reduce stress.
It turns out its not just human touch which matters. Petting your dog, or someone else’s pet can relieve the symptoms of stress.
8. Trigger Laughter
The wisdom that “laughter is the best medicine” has long been heeded.
In addition to improving your immune system and stimulating your organs, laughter relieves the symptoms of stress.
The soothing feeling of laughter can significantly improve your ability to cope in stressful situations. That’s why you’ve got to have a sense of humor.
Therefore, when you tell your doctor that you’re stressed, it makes sense for them to prescribe 10 minutes per day watching YouTube videos of dogs.
There are few things in the world that can cheer us up like the floppy ears of our pet dog or their hopeless attempt to scare off a neighbor’s cat.
Why Working Americans Need Dogs
Now you know why working Americans need dogs. When you’re always feeding, washing and walking your dog, it’s easy to forget what your dog does for you.
But, always remember that your dog can keep you calm and stress-free in return for your care (and treats, lots of treats).
If you want to learn more about how to improve your overall health and happiness, make sure to check out our happiness section!