Anxiety and stress are the plagues of the modern age. Both illnesses are on the rise everywhere in the developed world, and there are many reasons why that might be. People become anxious because they have financial or relationship concerns or because they have self-esteem issues. Stress can arise as a response to a specific incident, or simply as a response for dealing with too much pressure for too long a time.
If you suffer from anxiety or stress, welcoming another living creature into your home might seem like the last thing you want to do. After all, that creature will depend on you for food, water, and shelter. Its life is literally in your hands, and that might sound like it’s just another form of stress. That isn’t actually how it works out a lot of the time, though.
There’s a reason why you may sometimes have heard companion animals described as ‘the pet prescription.’ That’s when a doctor or a counselor suggests that you may want to consider welcoming a pet into your life as a way of reducing your anxiety or stress levels, and there’s strong evidence that it’s a good idea. Here are just five of the ways that getting a pet might be your route to feeling better in your own mind and ultimately in your own life.
You Get More Exercise
This is especially true if you own a dog, but it applies to some extent with the majority of animals. Even cat owners have to get up and down to feed their pet, play with it, and let it out and back in again! It’s been scientifically proven that exercise is good for anxiety, which makes it one of nature’s cruel jokes that we rarely feel like exercising when we’re in the grip of the condition. Having a pet means that you have no option but to get up and be active, though. As new dog owners take their pets for longer and longer walks each day, they often find that they’ve suddenly started to feel better about life in general. They usually put that down to the presence of their dog – which has a lot to do with it – but the exercise is just as important.
We’re Reassured By Cuteness
Have you ever stopped and wondered why we’re automatically drawn to cute babies, or how it is that the internet became overwhelmed by cute cat memes? It’s because we’re biologically drawn to things that make up feel, for want of a better phrase, ‘warm and fuzzy.’ Marketers have known this for a very long time, which is why you’ll often see cute animals used in advertising. Take the success of ‘Fluffy Favourites’ on mobile slots websites like RoseSlots.com, for example. There are thousands of mobile slots games in the world, so how is it that the one which features cute, cuddly animals became the most popular? Mobile slots developers and scientists know the same thing – we’re drawn to cuteness because it appeals to the protective urge in all of us. It triggers the same response that makes us so defensive of our own children. To put it in basic terms, it makes us fall in love, and love kills anxiety dead.
Animals Reduce Blood Pressure
As you’ll know very well if you have anxiety or stress issues, your blood pressure increases when you’re in the middle of an attack. That increase in blood pressure, in turn, makes the situation worse. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s often controlled through medication. Why use medication when a pet could achieve the same result for you? Various scientific studies over many years have conclusively proven that when we spend time stroking a pet, our blood pressure goes down. As it does, our anxiety levels drop. Amazingly, just sitting and watching a fish swimming around in a tank does the same thing!
Pets Lessen The Impact Of Stressful Situations
We’re about to tell you something that will make you look at waiting rooms in a whole new light. How many times have you been sat waiting to see a doctor or a dentist, and noticed that there’s a fish tank in the room? Has it ever struck you as odd? Why would they put it there? It’s actually a basic psychological trick – it’s calming you down. A study performed by psychiatrist Dr. Aaron T. Beck has shown that people asked to perform a math test in front of an animal get less stressed than they do when asked to perform one on their own. In short, the mere presence of an animal makes dealing with stressful situations easier.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Animals – and especially cats or dogs – are clowns. They may not intend to be, but they make us laugh all the time. They fall over themselves or chase their own tails, or otherwise do something which embarrasses them. As the existence of a multitude of televised clip shows proves, animals make us laugh. As the old adage says, laughter is the best medicine. Having an animal around means you’re more likely to experience a little laughter in your day than someone who doesn’t have a pet to cheer them up. You might not quite get a stand-up comedy routine out of them, but they’ll still surprise you with all the ways in which they can entertain you, and they make your day that tiny bit better than they do.
Notwithstanding all of this, there’s one more thing that having an animal at home gives you to; someone to come home to. You might not get a warm response out of a fish, but aside from that, every other type of house pet will miss you when you’re not there. They greet you the moment you walk back through the door when you get home, and they make you feel wanted. That’s a nice feeling, and we shouldn’t underestimate how powerful it is when it comes to making us feel better about ourselves. Dealing with anxiety and stress can be awful, but having a pet there to support you makes it easier. Don’t run away from the idea of getting a pet because you’re scared of looking after it – embrace the experience, and benefit from having one around instead.