Coming home to an enthusiastic furry friend makes a big difference in comparison to the silence of an empty house. An adoring tail-wagging dog’s warm welcome is an adequate remedy to a dispirited mood and makes your life more bearable. Curious about how a pet can help alleviate loneliness? Well, let’s find out how.
Based on a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) report, one in every five Americans struggles with loneliness or feelings of social isolation. These feelings not only severely affect an individual’s mental health but can also bring about depression and anxiety concerns. Besides that, loneliness can also impact on a subject’s physical health.
Some social groups are significantly more susceptible to feelings of loneliness and social isolation? These include:
- Individuals who live alone
- People with strained relationships
- Senior adults
HRSA reports show 45% of older adults on the average struggle with feelings of loneliness. This pattern aligns with our modern life structure and family setup. For some years now, the typical household size has been on the decline. This trend results in more and more people having to live alone.
Loneliness and feelings of isolation can also occur even when an individual is living with other people. What’s more, loneliness can arise if you feel a sense of disconnection or else struggle with depression owing to the surrounding environment.
These problems are compounded by a culture that values individualism and independence—meaning a considerable number of people living alone have issues reaching out, or else, seeking the companionship of others.
So, does the action of adopting a pet help with loneliness concerns without making you feel like you’re giving up your independent lifestyle? Most definitely, yes! Let’s find out more.
1. Pets Provide a Sense of Obligation
Support animals rely on their handlers to take care of their needs. When you have the responsibility to walk your pet or feed it routinely, you restructure your internal structure to focus more on the furry friend rather than adversely dwell on your loneliness.
2. Support Animals Offer Companionship
Pets generally enjoy having company and will follow you all over the house to avoid being alone. Furry friends like dogs and cats will also take pleasure in cuddling on your lap or patting your leg—especially when you need the attention. These pets offer unreserved companionship, enticing even the hardest of hearts.
3. Helps You Attract Attention
Because dogs enjoy walks, handlers have to take them outside on a routine basis. Simply put, this involvement opens up avenues for greetings and chats from other people, thus facilitating interactions with others. Other than the joy of the outdoors and regular exercise, walking a pet also has a significant physical and mental health benefit.
Over to You!
Loneliness can be an underlying sign of other health issues like depression, anxiety, or distressing mental health concerns. Yet, a pet can help you cope with loneliness while also supporting you to ease the tribulations of dealing with the more significant issue.
Are you eligible for an emotional support animal? Talk to your therapist today! After an evaluation, the physician will be able to determine whether a pet is suitable for your situation and can also issue you with an ESA letter.
Having an ESA letter enables you to apply for your pet to live with you even in no-pet housing environments, including college campuses.