Keeping pets is beneficial in many ways, and anxiety relief symptoms are at the top of the list. There are many ways they help with mental health issues, and sometimes it's as simple as providing companionship.
An animal can usually help in this way simply by being present. They may offer you a hug, a wet nose, a lick on the face, or any other regular action to help distract you. In addition to providing a positive distraction, they can help provide an overall sense of well-being.
The effectiveness of pets in helping to combat anxiety is well known, and many studies have been conducted on the subject. Some pet owners even have their animals registered as service animals when they help ease feelings of anxiety. However, you don't need to register them, unless you plan to take them to places like supermarkets or schools.
TEN WAYS PETS HELP OVERCOME ANXIETY
Since animals can help reduce feelings of anxiety, those suffering from this mental health problem should consider purchasing one. It will help make life's everyday anxieties more manageable. Also, your pet could help prevent feelings from settling in to begin with.
1. HELP TO RELIEVE FEELINGS OF FEAR
Animals can sense when you are afraid and will comfort you during that time. They can lick your face or climb onto your lap. It is their way of distracting you and reminding you that you are not alone.
When you are afraid, it could be his way of telling you that there is nothing to fear. Your pet will provide comfort during this time. Before you know it, you will always turn to your pet when you start to be afraid of something.
2. PROMOTE SOCIALIZATION
If you feel anxious in social situations, this will be especially helpful for you. They can help ease feelings of anxiety because they offer something to talk about. People love to talk about animals, so it's easy to have social interaction when your pet is around.
Even general mental health problems can be alleviated when animals encourage socialization. Socializing can ease feelings of anxiety and lead to better overall mental health.
If you have a dog, you will be more sociable than many others. This result is because you will have a conversation with other dog owners when you walk your dog. Even if the conversation is in passing, you will feel more connected and less isolated, relieving some of the stress.
3. PETS HELP YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE
When you've had a long, hard day and are feeling lonely or isolated, a pet can help cheer you up. They'll be there when you walk into the house, and they'll be ready to cuddle, rub, and play. Animals offer their owners a feeling of unconditional love and companionship.
Sometimes, even when you are alone, you don't feel like seeing other people or being social. When you think this way, having some kind of company is still essential. They have a calming influence and will make you feel better about yourself when you're feeling down.
4. PETS MAKE YOU FEEL NEEDED
Since animals are always happy to see their owner, you will always feel needed and wanted in their presence. They give you purpose and a sense of meaning in life when you would otherwise feel worthless. Even if your pet isn't interacting, it can ease his feelings of anxiety and help him feel better.
A study shows the effects that animals have on older people with respect to their mental health. In this study, the crickets were placed in a cage in the elderly person's room. The person's mood was monitored for eight weeks.
The results of this study showed that the mood of all the participants rose during those eight weeks. His depression decreased, as did his feelings of anxiety.
A control group was included in this study and provided the same results. Those in the control group who did not have pets showed no improvement in their mental health. That is, the animals provided the older person with better mental health.
5. HELP YOU DO MORE EXERCISE
If you have a dog, this is especially true for you. Dogs have to burn energy, and they like to do it by walking and running.
As the dog owner, the responsibility for making sure they are exercising rests with you. Because of this, studies show that dog owners are more likely to meet exercise requirements each day than others.
As exercise is known to improve your mental health, it is a sure way to ease feelings of anxiety. So, when you're feeling anxious, remember that and take your dog for a walk or jog. Both will benefit, and the time you spend with your pet will help you even more.
6. PETS CAN HELP RAISE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
In a group of studies published by the American Psychological Association, animals were found to help with self-esteem. These studies were conducted by psychologists from the University of Miami and Saint Louis University. They showed that those who have animals in their home have higher self-esteem and can recover more easily from rejection.
When you have better self-esteem, you will feel less anxious. The study showed that when something happened that could lower their self-esteem, the animals lessened that effect. This is because they give you the feeling that you are not alone and that you are always loved.
If you write about the bad experience and then write about your pet, you will feel better about the situation. The same could be said about your thought process, too. So if you don't have paper and a pen, think about your pet.
7. YOU WILL BE LESS WORRIED
When you get stressed and worry about things you can't control, you will quickly feel anxious. This is easy to do when you can't stop thinking about what is bothering you.
However, a pet can help distract you from those thoughts. It can be a soft brush against your leg or a moan to remind you that they need dinner. No matter what it is, your action may be all it takes to clear your head.
8. HELP YOU LIVE IN THE MOMENT
While humans worry about the past and future, animals don't even consider it. They only care about what is happening right now, and they will help you start thinking that way too.
One way they can help you live in the moment is by showing you how they do it. When you see your pet lying in the rays of light coming through the window, you will be remembered. They will also do it sitting on the windowsill enjoying the scenery outside the window.
No matter what is going on in your mind, a pet can jump onto your lap and demand hugs or rubs. When this happens, it will help you refocus your thoughts to the present. Similarly, following the motions of caring for a pet also helps you focus on the present.
9. PETS HELP YOU DEVELOP EMOTIONAL REGULATION SKILLS
Taking care of an animal is one of the best ways to learn to take care of another being. Taking care of a pet will teach you empathy, which is one of the best ways to develop these skills. When you start thinking about what your pet needs or wants, you will learn to do the same for humans.
You will also have to deal with stress and feelings of anxiety better if you have a pet. By simply rubbing your pet's fur, you will instantly relax a bit. The more time you spend with your pet, the better he will feel.
10. YOU WILL DEVELOP BETTER SLEEPING HABITS
When you have a pet, you should take care of it even when you prefer to sleep. They may have to let them out in the morning, forcing you to get out of bed. If they don't have to let them out, they will have to eat after a long night.
Since feelings of anxiety can be made worse through negative sleeping habits, this can be of great help. Likewise, getting out of bed earlier will help you get more done during the day. This break can also help you with your anxious feelings, as you won't feel like you have much to do later.
FINAL REFLECTIONS ON TRUSTING YOUR PETS TO HELP OVERCOME THEIR ANXIETY
Pets are more than just fun to have in your home. They offer many benefits, including help to beat anxiety. This is a big problem for those who know what their feelings are like and how debilitating they can be.
With a pet in your home, you can relax a bit and live a healthier life. You will feel wanted and loved, needed and have more social interactions. In addition, you will develop better sleep habits, develop your emotional regulation skills, and have a greater sense of self-worth.
The benefits don't stop there either, as pets help you live in the moment and be less worried. They will also help ease feelings of loneliness or fear, which often lead to anxiety. If you suffer from this mental health condition, you should consider adopting a pet to help you beat it.