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A golden retriever and a woman crouched down - pets are good for your mental health

Pets have been a long-time companion to humans. They offer friendship, love, compassion, and a bit of happiness on the gloomiest of days. Recent research would also tell you that pets are beneficial for our mental health as well.  

Who needs research to know that our pets bring so much to the table other than just being a fun human accessory? Keep reading to learn how a pet is good for your mental health!

#1. Pets Can Help with Anxiety or Panic Attacks

Anxiety roots from deep within our own minds. Anxiety is being in a continual state of fear and worry for everyday situations. 

There are a myriad of reasons our brain responds to situations and cause anxiety or panic-like symptoms, such as irritability, restlessness, lack of concentration, and racing thoughts. How does a pet specifically help with anxiety?

A pet lives in the present, and they can remind us to focus on this moment, not the past or future. A pet can also help us remember to focus our thoughts on them, instead of the anxious thoughts in our minds. 

#2. Pets Can Help Take Away Stress

Stress can be situational, brought on by progressive health issues, or a combination of both. In any case, stress can cause several psychological side effects such as moodiness, irritability, anger, and feeling overwhelmed easily.  

How does having a pet help with stress? Playing or walking outdoors with a pet can help encourage exercise. Exercise can help humans produce hormones that effectively battle stress. Pets can also relieve the pressures of stress, just by having a companion to be active with. 

#3. Pets Can Help with Depression

Depression is a constant state of feeling sad with lack of interest in normal things that usually make us happy. Depression can cause many side effects such as lack of concentration, slowness in activity, anxiety, agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, social isolation, and even thoughts of suicide.

Having a pet can reduce some side effects of depression by contributing to your overall happiness. Pets can make us laugh and smile, helping increase our natural feelings of joy and gratification in our personal lives.  

Having a pet will help you spotlight your negative thoughts and feelings onto an absolute appreciation for your pet and life itself. 

#4. Pets Can Help with Loneliness

Loneliness is a void of having human interactions with others. Being social is a normal part of living. We, in fact, crave the social connection between others. 

Loneliness can lead to social isolation, stress, depression, and also anxiety. 

A pet can help with loneliness by giving us a companion to care for, to talk to, to be active with, as well as improve our social connection with another living creature. 

Caring for your pet can lessen loneliness by making you feel needed and wanted.  Pets can also help take away the burdens of everyday problems and allow you to focus on something positive. 

#5. Pets Can Offer Unconditional Love

Love is the most basic need for humans and animals alike. With love, you will find companionship, social interactions, affections, and so much more. 

Although, finding those things with another human is not always easy. Pets give us their loyalness, friendship, love, and companionship without asking for anything in return. 

Pets just love their humans and will do anything to make their humans happy.

Mental health has always been laden with stigma. We don’t know all the answers behind the issues we face with mental health; we may never know. Pets can’t solve all the problems we face with mental health in general or all the symptoms caused by stress, anxiety, or depression. 

A pet can, however, offer friendship and unconditional love. That alone is great for you! How else does your pet help in improving your mental health?