People who suffer from temporary or permanent depression may find solace in their pets. For centuries, some animals, mainly dogs, have been mankind’s greatest friends. Therefore, psychiatrists and psychologists suggest getting a pet to help relieve mental tension and reduce depression symptoms.
When it’s their sixth sense or the unconditional love they offer, pets can offer a great way to increase our mental well-being and avoid depression-like thoughts.
What Does Research Say?
There is significant scientific data to suggest that having a pet ensures that we remain compassionate and show empathy towards the needs of animals and, thus, have a similar outlook on life. The curative power of our pets, guarantees that individuals who may not have strong social support can get an easy way to keep their emotions stable.
Research findings indicate that senior adults who had pets as their companions revealed minimal or no symptoms of depressions versus adults who lived alone. Studies also suggest that seniors with pets required minimal medical services and stay satisfied and positive through most part of the later years.
Pets gives a feeling of unconditional acceptance, affection, love and constant companionship. These emotions help create a better sense of self and a reduction in negative emotions like anxiety or depression.
Touching/petting your pet, taking care of its needs and interacting frequently with it also play a crucial role to fostering the oxytocin levels in the brain. According to a survey, approximately 74% of pet owners observed notable mental health improvements after acquiring a pet. Therapy pets and animals are great ways to tackle social isolation, loneliness and feelings of unworthiness.
Different Pets Have the Exact Same Calming Effect
When searching for the best pet that will help you overcome stress and depression, you can either select a dog or a cat. Fish and birds work too because some people like to look after a bird or a fish, based on their lifestyle and psychological needs.
While dogs enable you to remain socially active, cats are also ideal for reducing depression with their playfulness. Regardless of the animal you choose, the relationship between you and your pet aids in reducing depression levels and helps allow you to live a normal life.
Having a dog makes it possible to interact with other dog owners. You also receive a reason to step out of the home when you take your dog for a walk. This lets you be socially active and less withdrawn. The more you connect to the external world, the less depressed you are feeling.
Moreover, petting your pet has the same calming effect as listening to soothing music or indulging in aromatherapy. Most people report that the softness of the cat’s fur results in a sudden drop of depression levels and has a dramatic effect on calming the nerves down.
These emotions contribute to better mental health and help regulate good blood pressure levels and a well-maintained heartbeat. Not only can you experience happiness in the presence of pets, you can also feel accountable and responsible which will help to make your life feel more fulfilling.