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Can pets help your mental health?

by Adrianna Anastasiades about a year ago in therapy
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Pets are seen as more than a friend

Can pets help your mental health?
Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash

When it comes to talking about mental health it's a delicate topic, but now people are more open to expressing their feelings - especially online. There are always different ways to help create a positive environment that will help our mental health wellbeing, but sometimes we cannot control things that can cause damage to our environment.

But one thing that has been proven countless times is that pets can be therapeutic. In fact, many cats and dogs have been assistants to help people open up. One example is that cats are being placed in prisons so that prisoners can learn about responsibility, by buying them furniture and toys, as well as taking care of them. Another example is that dogs are used during court cases to help survivors speak out, by keeping them calm and making them feel safe.

By Zeke Tucker on Unsplash

So how do pets help our mental health?

Pets can help in many ways, with one example being that they can help us regain the feeling of routine and responsibility when we're feeling depressed. Depression is a delicate matter, but one symptom of depression is the feeling of not wanting to get out of bed and always putting the little things on hold. But when you have a pet, you are automatically forcing yourself to take that step by getting out of bed and to start doing the little things because they act as a natural alarm.

Cats, dogs and even rabbits all naturally wake up in the morning and are waiting for their pal to wake up too. This is because they rely on you to feed them and spend time with them, and in a way, this can be viewed as something that is important in your life and can keep you going.

They can help combat loneliness

Animals have different personalities, with some being hyper, some being affectionate and others being anxious. However, pets are comforting creatures that can help combat loneliness. Pets are known to combat anxiety and stress, and can even sense your sadness.

It is good to choose a pet that loves to give attention and also crave it because you can actually form a bond with your furry pal. Even though dogs are usually a good choice, cats can also be affectionate too and rabbits. Hamsters and rats are also a great choice because they have their own routine and once they learn to trust you, they'd want to spend a lot of time with you. Even birds such as parrots can be comforting pets because they're little intelligent creatures that can be quite entertaining.

By Kim Green on Unsplash

A loving companionship

Many people come and go in our lives, and sometimes we lose jobs or struggle to find what truly makes us happy. But knowing that your pet is at home looking forward to seeing you and spending time with you is a great feeling that is priceless.

By prioritising your pet and its needs, you find a sense of meaning in life by building a strong bond and companionship. What's even more incredible is that you don't speak the same language to spark a conversation, but you still understand each other's needs through body language. It is actually physically and mentally healthy for you to have a pet because they can help reduce your blood pressure and can make you feel motivated just by being around them.

Not only that, but you can also educate yourself about the animal that you welcome into your home, by doing extensive research and learning things that you may have never known before you had them in your lives. Having a pet is a positive experience altogether and can help you get your life back on track again.

TIP: It's important to do your research first before you choose a pet and it's best to adopt if you can.

By Степан Галагаев on Unsplash

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About the author

Adrianna Anastasiades

28 years old. Born and raised in London. Living in Athens, Greece. Studied BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing at Southampton Solent University. I run a youtube channel and travel blog.

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