If you’re an animal lover, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced caring for a pet or two. Pets are more than just an animal we can treat caring for as a hobby. Pets, in many ways, should be considered as part of the family or as dear friends. Because pets are family or friends, it’s only natural that we feel good when we’re around them.
That is why owning a pet (and really getting into it) can be a great way to help reduce stress. Here are some of the ways your animal buddy (or buddies) are keeping stress at bay.
Perhaps the single, most powerful reason why pets help keep us from being overstressed is the fact that being a dedicated pet owner gives us purpose. Having a purpose in life is a psychological cheat code when it comes to combating stress.
We live everyday mostly thinking about what we can do for ourselves, and this can become monotonous and boringly “routine.” Pets, however, make us feel like we’re responsible for another life.
You can say pets, in a way, empower us to be something greater than who we really are. Pets make us feel like someone needs us, and this need makes us feel important that can translate to a confidence or ego boost, lowering stress.
Ever had one of those days where you wish you can just talk to someone about your day and that person will just be there to listen and empathize? Pets are perfect for that, especially dogs. Some dogs have this weird thing where they sit and stare at you when you’re talking to them, and some even display a “dog smile” as their neutral face, making us feel warm and wanted.
Even if they’re not dogs, pets will always just “listen” to you even though they’re just goldfish minding their own business. Talking about what’s eating you or some of your ideas or dreams will greatly help lower stress levels. It also makes us feel like someone is willing to actually stop whatever it is they’re doing just to listen to us.
Some pets, especially the furry ones, can show affection in many ways. Dogs jump around and sometimes “lunge” at us when they’re excited, cats rub their bodys on our legs or sit or sleep beside us. Hamsters can be quite affectionate when we try to rub their tiny, furry heads.
Outside of our furry friends, some species of reptiles like iguanas also recognize “important people” in their lives, so they tend to stay beside pet owners who feed them and provide shelter. Turtles may not visibly show it, but they also learn who they can trust.
Having a living thing show affection boosts our confidence and ego. It makes us remember that even in our darkest days, our pets are there to love us unconditionally.
Owning a pet is almost a lifetime commitment, especially with many pets living for more than a decade given the right conditions. If you’re an animal lover since birth, chances are you’ve experienced taking care of a dear pet when you were a kid, and that pet is likely one of your very best friends.
When a pet grows with you, it’s like having a sibling, really. You play with them every day, you feed them, you bathe them, and you probably hug and kiss them from time to time. We build memories and these are always good, except when our pets close their eyes for the last time. We would cry, but it just proves how strong our bond was with them.
Whether you are coming home from school or work, you always know that someone is always waiting for you, and that someone is your beloved pet! Nothing beats stress more than being excited to go home so you can be greeted by a pet you love so much.
Pets are family, and just like family they can be our personal refuge against the biggest sources of stress in our lives. The time and resources we invest in our pets come back to us ten-fold, as the ability to make stress (and our busy lives) more manageable is priceless.
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