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Why Your Pet Is So Important To Your Mental Health

Many people consider their pets an extension of their family. The love that owners have for their animals isn’t something that should be underestimated, and neither should the benefits of that bond. From better moods to lowered anxiety, pets can be absolutely vital to your mental health.

Lowered Stress

Stress can wreak havoc upon your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is, and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. It’s a serious issue to combat – and it turns out that pets can help lead the charge. According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, in a study conducted in conjunction with other similar associations, owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.

Relieves Anxiety

There are many different ways that a dog can serve as a great companion animal. For many, just petting or cuddling with a dog can help to fight anxiety disorders. Keith Humphreys, a professor of Psychology and Behavior Studies, admits, “Holding and stroking a dog is calming for many people, even those without anxiety problems.” No matter what the issue is that is keeping you down, cuddling with your pet is sure to help!

Better Sleep

Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a particularly rambunctious pup, owners are often surprised at how much their pet’s presence can help.

More Exercise

Living a healthy life is important to your physical health as well as your mental health, however it’s a particularly difficult goal to achieve sometimes. Pet owners are more likely than other people to get some form of exercise daily, especially walking, and generally live healthier lives that are less sedentary as a result. This, in turn, helps boost mental health and offer coping mechanisms to handle stress.

Owning a dog is a rewarding experience, but the confirmation that owning one can help with your mental health is relatively new. Make sure to give your pup a treat the next time you see them!

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