If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you’re far from alone. In fact, in the United States, mental health issues are quite common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five American adults have a mental illness. Though this issue can be daunting, there are treatments out there that can help you.
In addition to therapy and scientifically proven treatments, there are things you can do in your daily life to give your mental health a boost. Whether you’re taking care of a dog, goldfish, or cat, a pet can give your life some much needed structure. Regardless of what happens, you have something else to take care of that gives unconditional love and affection.
On top of that, there are numerous other ways your pets can make you happy. Check out some of the mental health benefits to having a pet.
Improve Your Mental Health
Numerous studies have shown that having a pet can improve your mental health and make you have a more positive outlook on life. When you have a positive mindset, you start to view the world differently and gain the ability to deal with daily challenges. Instead of falling back on a cycle of hopelessness, you try to make the most out of your day and strive to achieve new accomplishments. If you are struggling with having a positive outlook, you may also try keeping an affirmations journal that you update daily.
Decrease Your Blood Pressure
In a study published in the Journal of American Heart Association, people who have hypertension experienced a decrease in blood pressure five months following adopting a dog. It’s been shown that stress may lead to increases in blood pressure. By getting a dog and frequently spending time with them, you can mitigate the impact of stress on your blood pressure, proving that pets can make you happy and healthy.
Helps Give Your Life Structure
Having a pet can help you regain a sense of structure in your life. A pet requires a lot of care and attention. For instance, a dog needs to be taken out for frequent walks, cleaned up after, and played with every now and then. Routines can help you organize your day and tackle your depression and anxiety. Many people enjoy jogging and walking with their dogs. When you get regular exercise, you can help relieve your stress, anxiety, and depression. On top of that, a study showed that interacting with a pet can increase your production of dopamine and serotonin and assist in mitigating the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
While there are many mental health benefits of having a pet, you may want to consider online therapy or an online psychiatrist if you have an anxiety disorder.
Great for Your Social Life
Even before the pandemic, Americans were suffering from a high level of isolation and loneliness. When you aren’t in a tight-knit community, it can be tough to reach out to people when you are going through a tough time. However, it’s never too late to make substantial, important connections. A 2015 found that pet owners have an increased likelihood of knowing people in their neighborhood compared to people who don’t own pets. These are some of the ways a pet can lead to you making more friends:
- Social events at parks for people with dogs.
- Posting photos and videos of your pet on social media can lead to people reaching out to you.
- Going to the grocery store to get pet food may lead to more interactions.
- When you are out and about with your pet, you instantly have a connection with people who are also taking care of an animal.
- On dating apps, posting photos with your pet can help you find people who also share a love for animals.
Though it may take time for you to make new friends, having a good social life is key to mental health, and pets can make you happy along with the new friends you meet because of your pet ownership. When you have in person interactions, your body releases neurotransmitters that are excellent for managing stress and anxiety.
Responsibilities Can Make You A Better Person
It’s totally normal to have issues with self-esteem. What matters is what you do to be proactive and change your outlook on yourself and life. Taking care of an animal can help you boost your self-esteem and sense of confidence, subsequently improving your own ability to take care of yourself. A Bark Box study of 1,006 pet owners found that 93% of pet owners could name a way that their pet made them feel like a better person. These are some of the numerous ways a pet can make you feel more responsible:
- Helps affirm a sense of control over your life.
- You get to show another living thing affection and care.
- When your life feels overwhelming, you have something consistent to turn to.
- You can remind yourself of all the things you have done for your pet and regain self-worth.
Pets Provide Unconditional Love
Regardless of what happens in your life, your pet is there for you. But there’s no replacement for real human interaction. However, relationships can get complicated and there will be plenty of ups and downs. With a pet, you will have something that is reliable and provides unconditional love. In many ways, a pet can help you gain insight into your relationships with friends, family members, and partners. Taking care of a pet can help you learn how to make someone else happy and be attentive to sudden shifts in emotions. There are multiple ways that pets can make you happy.
After a long and difficult day, pets can help make you feel better and less stressed. There’s no doubt that your dog helps take care of you. If you want to make sure your dog is healthy and mobile, you should check out DGP’s fantastic joint formula. DGP’s products include all-natural ingredients like wheatgrass, turmeric, and Boswellia extract. Having a pet is a dynamic experience that can help improve your mental health and achieve happiness. Approach it with an open-mind and as an opportunity to get to know new people and most importantly, new parts of yourself.