Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy a pet. In special circumstances, you may find a stray animal or know someone giving away a pet for free. If that’s the case, consider yourself even luckier. Having a pet is a wonderful experience that even has physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. In many ways, pets make great therapists. This isn’t to say that getting a pet should ever replace therapy, but they can definitely add happiness to your life that you didn’t know was possible. If you find yourself struggling mentally or emotionally, seek out the advice of a licensed therapist at: https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/. If you already have a pet, you know what a joy they can be. If you’ve been debating whether or not to get a cat, dog, or other pet, this may just be the sign you’ve been waiting for. Read on to see how pets can influence and improve your mental health, making you happier along the way.
Simply sitting around with your pet boosts your mood and lowers your stress levels. After a long day at work or a fight with your significant other, it can be the perfect cure. Spending time with your pet releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, so the experience is a traceable biological one. Although your pet can’t follow you everywhere, like to the office, they’re always great to come home to after a particularly hard day.
Pets not only lower your blood pressure, but they keep you more fit. Think about how many times dogs need to go out each day, and how they require an adequate amount of exercise. While you might be tempted to sit inside on the couch all day, your dog will convince you otherwise. People with dogs tend to be more active, healthy, and fit. In turn, your physical health boosts your mental health and overall mood.
Starting the Morning Off Right
Let’s face it, waking up early is already hard enough. Add the dread of going to work on top of it, and it can be hard to wake up and get out of bed. However, add a pet into the mix and it becomes that much easier. There are few better feelings than waking up to a wagging tail, a purring kitten, or a hamster waiting to be fed. Your pets are completely dependent on you, so owning one will fill you with a sense of purpose from the moment you wake up. Whenever you’re trying to find your sense of purpose in life, simply look at your pet and you’ll quickly discover it.
Decrease in Loneliness
Pets aren’t people, so they can’t talk back or offer you advice. However, they do have a way of reading your mood and comforting you. It’s mostly unexplainable, but pets just get us. The presence of a dog or cat can make you feel less alone but can also encourage you to get out more. If you have a dog in particular, you’ll have to get out of the house more. Dogs have to go out regularly to relieve themselves, but also need a lot of exercise. You might find yourself headed to the dog park more than once a day just because it makes your dog happy. While there, your dog will interact with other dogs, and you’ll probably meet new people who are owners themselves. If you’re someone who has social anxiety, this can be a great way to meet others and practice your people skills.
Aid for Anxiety and Depression
Many animals are specially trained to help those with poor mental health or a mental illness. Even if you have a pet that isn’t a service animal, they can still help a lot. Pets can sense our moods, whether we’re feeling anxious, especially sad, or stressed out. Simply sitting on the couch with your pet is often enough to make you feel even a little bit better. Pets have a way of showing us they care even through the smallest of gestures.
Having a pet is a great experience, but it isn’t for everyone. Some people are allergic to animals, don’t have the time or schedule to care for a pet, or simply don’t want one. Others love animals, have the time for one, and are actively looking to adopt one. From dogs to cats to snakes and mice, every type of pet can add to your life. You’ll find improvements in your physical and mental health and will be an overall happier person. Of course, pets aren’t a magical cure for mental illness. You may still need to go to therapy and be on a treatment plan, which is completely normal. While deciding what may help you improve your mental health, just keep pets in mind. They aren’t always the answer, but they can also be the perfect choice for getting your life and sense of purpose back.