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How Pets Benefit Your Mental Health

We all know that pets can make us feel happy and loved. But did you know that they can also have a drastically positive impact on our mental health? Not only do pets provide comfort and companionship, but studies have shown that keeping a pet can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative moods. In fact, a recent survey has shown that 87% of pet owners say they have experienced mental health improvements as a result of owning a pet. Pets can also provide us with companionship and a sense of purpose. Keep reading to see the different ways pets can benefit our mental health!

Pets Help Us Exercise
Pets are powerful creatures that have been proven to help our mental health, but they can also benefit our physical health, which in turn helps boost our mood and improves our mental health. Exercise can help boost self-esteem, brain function, and lessen social withdrawal and stress. Walking, exercising, or playing with pets can be the small amount of movement our body needs to increase the feeling of happiness, reduce stress, and motivate us.

Pets Help Manage Our Stress
Whether it’s cuddling a bunny, playing with a kitten, or stroking a puppy, pets can be an incredible source of comfort for those feeling stressed or anxious. Studies have shown that pets increase the hormone oxytocin which is responsible for happiness and reducing feelings of insecurity and stress. For people experiencing mental health issues like depression or social anxiety, pets provide companionship, unconditional love, and much needed solace. And let’s not forget how calming pets can be! Without fail, petting an animal soothes us and slows down our breathing and heart rate. With all the benefits pets can offer us mentally and emotionally, there’s no doubt that everyone could benefit from some furry (or scaly!) love in their lives.

Pets Give us a Sense of Purpose
Pets are truly special beings that can bring a unique source of comfort and support to our lives. By caring for a pet, we can practice mindfulness and cultivate a sense of presence. Our furry friends have an innate ability to focus and pay attention, qualities that we can learn from and emulate in our own lives. In addition, pets offer unconditional acceptance, making them a perfect source of comfort during times of mental struggle. The responsibility of caring for a pet can also provide a sense of purpose and motivation, encouraging us to get out of bed, go outside, and even take care of our own needs. Perhaps most importantly, pets offer companionship that can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness and despair. Overall, the benefits of pet ownership for our mental health are countless.

Pets have been shown to offer psychological benefits like stress relief and anxiety reduction to their owners. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, consider getting a pet! Different pets offer different levels of maintenance and companionship, so it’s important to choose the right pet for your lifestyle and personality. Not sure where to start? Visit your local animal shelter and meet some adoptable animals today!

Please note: If you are struggling with a mental health crisis, we encourage you to call the SAMHSA hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).