How Pets Can Help You Live a Happier, Healthier, and Longer Life
If you ever had the chance to have a best friend in the form of an animal, you probably already understand how much fun that loving companion can be. But apart from the anecdotes that you hear accompanying animals, you begin to learn the effect that owning a pet can have on your mental and physical well-being. In this post, we are going to dive into three major aspects of how owning and taking care of a pet can help you live a longer, healthier lifestyle.
Pets have a direct effect on your mood
Through our time domesticated animals, it seems that pets have now become attuned with their human counterparts. The know how to react according to the tone of your voice; they have learned our basic gestures; they can read body language better than your significant other.
Studies have shown that pets can be useful in treating depression. Having a companion around can change a lot of things for a person. Sometimes just having someone there can ease adverse emotions that stem from depression. Having the ability to touch a pet fulfills our basic human primal need. Having the ability to hug or pet a companion has been recorded to lessen the symptoms that come from depression and loneliness. Physiologically, we see that having pets around increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which also act to counteract these feelings.
Pets definitely play a part in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Pets are a primary cause of activity
Pets do not just increase mental stability, but rather begin to help you with you physical shape. Many animals require some form of exercise and activity. Just by having a dog around, you are more likely to reach a daily walking requirement for a day. By turning this into a habit, you become more active.
Staying active directly correlates to better cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association has documented that pet owners are in better shape than those who do not have animals simply because of the requirements of taking care of that animal. The best part about having an animal to help you work out is that working out directly affects your mental health as well. So not only will you get in better shape with the animal, but mentally you reap the benefits of decreasing advance psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
Having pets who are able to help you with your mental and physical well-being are two key steps to achieving a longer and healthier life.
Having a pet is a big responsibility
At first this seems like a negative. Let me explain. Having an animal around is not an easy task. You have to take the time and money out to take care. This may impede on some of your social plans or financial situations.
So, how is this considered a good thing? Having a pet teaches responsibility in the highest order. If you are able to plan and take care of your pet, it means that you are able to carefully plan and take care of yourself. A person with a pet starts to help with a person’s time management, scheduling how things are to be done and when to be done. This translates to a person’s non-pet life, where you have to plan which moves to make and when.
Also this sense of responsibility causes some mental changes to our health as well. According to some studies, knowing that one is able to take care of another animal is a boost to one’s self-esteem and confidence. This structured responsibility gives the person feeling of accomplishing a tall task, because we all know that it is not easy to take care of a pet.
As we have seen above, these are three factors which can lead, directly and indirectly to improving a pet owner’s mental and physical health. Having pets around helps our mental well-being as they work to combat symptoms from depression, anxiety, and other psychological factors. Pets lead their owners to becoming more active, which directly helps the owner with their physical state. (Also, the increase in activity level also helps with the mental states of a person.) Lastly, taking care of a pet properly gives the owner the difficult task of being responsible for the life of another, and rewards with a sense of accomplishment and mastery.
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