People with temporary or permanent depression can find comfort in their pets. For centuries, some animals, mainly dogs, have been humanity’s best friends. Therefore, psychiatrists and psychologists suggest having a pet to help relieve mental stress and reduce symptoms of depression.
Whether it’s their sixth sense or the unconditional love they offer, pets can offer a great way to improve our mental well-being and avoid depression-like thoughts.
What does the research say?
There is important scientific data to suggest that owning a pet ensures that we are compassionate and empathic towards the needs of animals and therefore have a similar outlook on life. The healing power of our pets ensures that people without strong social support can find an easy way to keep their emotions stable.
The research results suggest that older adults who had pets as their companions showed minimal or no signs of depression compared to adults who lived alone. Studies also suggest that seniors with pets required minimal medical services and remain satisfied and positive for most of their later years.
Pets give a feeling of unconditional acceptance, affection, love and constant companionship. These emotions help develop a better sense of self and reduce negative emotions such as anxiety or depression.
Touching / petting your pet, taking care of its needs, and interacting with it frequently also play a crucial role in increasing oxytocin levels in the brain. According to a survey, approximately 74% of pet owners saw notable improvements in mental health after acquiring a pet. Therapy animals and pets are great ways to deal with social isolation, loneliness, and feelings of unworthiness.
Different pets have the same calming effect
When looking for the best pet to help you overcome stress and depression, you can choose a dog or a cat. Fish and birds work too, as some people like to care for a bird or fish, depending on their lifestyle and emotional needs.
While dogs help you stay socially active, cats are also great for reducing depression with their playfulness. Regardless of which animal you choose, the connection between you and your pet helps reduce depression levels and allows you to lead a normal life.
Having a dog helps you interact with other dog owners. You also have a reason to leave the house when you walk your dog. This allows you to be socially active and less withdrawn. The more you connect with the outside world, the less depressed you feel.
Plus, stroking your pet has the same calming effect as listening to soothing music or enjoying aromatherapy. Most people report that the softness of their cat’s coat causes a sudden drop in depression levels and has a dramatic calming effect on nerves.
All of these emotions lead to better mental health and also help regulate good blood pressure levels and a well-maintained heart rate. Not only can you experience happiness in the presence of pets, but you can also feel responsible and responsible, which will help your life feel fuller.