Whether at home or on our travels, our furry friends provide more than just companionship. They have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing, helping us relax after a long day and keeping us connected in times of isolation. There’s even research that proves their ability to reduce cortisol levels in humans, making them a great de-stressor.
During the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to take care of our mental health, and our pets can be a great support during these times.
Manage mental health disorders with your furry friend!
Not only can stroking or playing with pets moderate the cortisol hormone, and therefore reduce stress and anxiety, but they also keep us active. The link between exercise and endorphins is well-documented, making physical activity the best natural remedy for depression and mood disorders.
Dogs are highly recommended for those suffering with depression, not just because of the daily walking requirements, but the social aspects too. For many dog walkers, their little companion acts as a social bridge, increasing day-to-day interaction with neighbors and other dog owners in the community. And for those who are feeling lonely during Covid, there are many fun things you can do with your dog that create a safe way to socialize.
They provide emotional support for all ages
The calming nature of pets can actually help to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, as well as lessen sensory sensitivity for children with autism. This doesn’t just apply to cats and dogs either, with studies now revealing that smaller pets like guinea pigs and hamsters can encourage better social behaviors for those on the autistic spectrum.
Additionally, they teach kids important lessons such as compassion and responsibility, while giving people of all ages a sense of purpose. In later life, they continue to bring joy and positivity, and can even minimize symptoms of cognitive diseases in the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s.
A great way to combat loneliness
If there’s one thing everyone can thank their pets for, it’s unconditional love. Pets with higher mental and emotional functions like cats and dogs crave human affection, making us feel needed and valued. But pets of all sizes are fantastic, and even something as low-maintenance as a pet goldfish can improve your wellbeing.
As seen in the infographic, the stats prove just how valuable pets can be, making animals a great addition to your family, especially in difficult times. For anyone who wants to improve their mental health, pets are a great way to do so.