When you think about stress or the ways to cope with it, it is usually techniques like meditation, maintaining a journal etc that come to mind. If it is loneliness or depression that you are battling, you consider going to a counsellor one of your best bets. And if your personal life is lagging behind and you cannot find as many dates as you would like, you probably turn your internet on.
All the aforementioned scenarios can be much more bearable with a friend around to help us sail through the difficulties. But sometimes, it is a furry friend that can provide more solace, even more so than a human friend could.
People in the throes of bad mood and bad health can benefit greatly from having a cat, dog or any other pet for company. Here are a few examples –
- Recent studies have found that in times of high stress, spending time with a pet is even better than talking to a good friend who also happens to be a good listener. According to the findings, people performing a stressful job fare better when their beloved pets are around than being with their friends or family. This is possibly because when with our pets, we never fear being judged. We get unconditional love.
- When you are walking in the park with a dog, you are many times more likely to be seen as friendly and approachable by people from both the sexes. Compare this with someone who goes to the park every evening alone. Even if he/she is the most harmless person around, people will like to maintain their distance. Walking your dog is likely to act as a conversation starter. Sometimes, it will just be a pet related discussion while at other times, it could lead to a date too!
- A recent American study revealed that people who had pets had lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who did not. This is probably an offshoot of the fact that people with pets experience less stress and anxiety than those without pets. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease – lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Heart attack survivors with pets live longer than those without pets.
- Even if you do not suffer from chronic depression or anxiety, you cannot escape a bad mood. A hard day at work, argument with a co-worker, tiff with a lover, stress related to children, negative self image are few of the many reasons that can trigger a bad mood. Having a loving pet around can instantly perk you up. It is difficult to remain gloomy when your cat is trying to snuggle or your dog is wagging its tail and looking you with big, loving eyes.
- Having a pet also encourages one to exercise. Whether you are taking your dog for a walk or running behind your playful little kitty, pet owners are known to be more outdoorsy and active when compared to people who do not have any pets at home.