As society continues to evolve and as lives change, more people are experiencing mental health crises. Amid the pandemic, remote working, loss of loved ones, and increased cost of living, the life we once knew is gone and in the past. Therefore, the question many of us may ask ourselves is, “what can we do to make it better?” A very simple answer would be adding the love of an animal to your home. Animals have a superhuman way of making life better. Below, you will find 5 of the ways in which animals can enrich your life and strengthen your mental health:
1. Pets can reduce a sense of loneliness. The companionship of having someone to sit next to and talk to can increase feelings of happiness, calmness, and overall positive thinking.
2. Having a pet has been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Specifically, owning a pet can also increase your serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine levels, which can be connected to both anxious and depressive feelings.
3. Pets give you a reason to be active. This can be demonstrated by walking your dog, playing with your cat, or chasing after your bunny. Pets need activity and can bring those active actions out of us at the same time.
4. Science suggests pet ownership can reduce blood pressure and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. When one is physically healthy, they will feel better mentally too!
5. Pets help you to be more present in the moment. They are unable to focus on the past or worry about the future. All an animal can focus on is what is happening at that moment in time. This can teach you to be more mindful and live in the here and now.