How Animals Can Help With Your Mental Health

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay 

You may have heard of animal or pet therapy, which has become an important part of mental health treatment. Since research found substantial evidence that people benefit spending time with animals and it is extremely good for their health, it has become a very popular treatment. Teen mental health programs now incorporate equine therapy programs that actively involve horses because the connection between people and horses allows people to address their emotions and issues through a powerful, direct experience of nonverbal communication.

You can also experience pet therapy benefits every day in your own home with your own pet.

Pets Motivate People

Pets are a great motivator for people if you're suffering from depression and finding it difficult to get out of bed, having to get up and feed your cat or take your dog for a walk can be really helpful. It won't cure you, but getting out for a walk can help you to feel better as the fresh air and exercise are both really good for you.

Pets Help You To Relax

Then, of course, there's the fact that pets have a calming effect on you, so when you are stressed, then just stroking, sitting next to, or playing with your pet can help you to relax and calm your mind. Of course when choosing a pet, you need to do your research and make sure that you get a breed that is gentle and calming, as you don’t want to have to deal with a dangerous dog and finding a lawyer if they attack someone.

Pets Love You

Pets give you unconditional love, and when you care for a pet, it not only gives your day purpose and reward; it gives you a sense of achievement and makes you feel valuable, needed, and loved.

Pets can help children with ADHD

Children with ADHD have been shown to benefit from working with and keeping a pet. Having a pet gives them responsibility and helps children to learn to plan as well. Also, playing with a pet is a great way for children to burn off excess energy, which will make them more relaxed later in the day and calmer at night.

Pets and Autism

Children with autism are said to find it calming to work with animals, and it has been found that animals can reduce stereotyped behavior, lessen sensory sensitivity, and increase the desire and ability to connect socially with others. This combined with something like focused ABA therapy could make a hugely positive difference.

Cats And Mental Health

There is a huge focus on dogs when it comes to mental health, but a joint Cats Protection and Mental Health Foundation study found that cats could also help to improve mental health. The survey found that 87 percent of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76 percent said they could cope with everyday life much better thanks to the company of their cat. Half of the cat owners felt that their cat's presence and companionship were very helpful, followed by a third of respondents who said that stroking a cat was a calming and helpful activity.

Pets Give You A Sense Of Purpose

For the elderly or for single people who live alone, having a pet can be really beneficial as they can provide you with a sense of purpose. This really helps to improve mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety as if you have a pet, you are never alone, and you are also responsible for looking after them.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Ellen, loved reading your post. I really believe pets have an unbelievable healing power. Due to my current situation I am not able to get a pet but I soon plan to.


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