For many centuries, dogs have widely been regarded as people’s best friends. However, very few people understand the importance of pets in general and dogs in particular when it comes to managing stress. All in all, scientific studies have shown that people suffering from mental stress can find solace in dogs. Therefore, psychologists and psychiatrists suggest that getting a dog as a pet can go a long way in helping people to relieve mental stress and reduce symptoms of depression. Below is a rundown of some ways in which a dog can help you to manage stress and enhance your mental well-being.
Loneliness can really aggravate the symptoms of stress and depression. To deal with loneliness, you need a trustworthy companion. Dogs can fill this gap a way that most people can’t. Dogs offer unconditional love, and they can allow you to enjoy comfortable silences. Besides, dogs are excellent when it comes to snuggling, and they can keep secrets. Therefore, a dog can help you manage stress resulting from social isolation or inadequate social support from humans.
Physical exercise is an excellent approach to stress management. Dogs are known to incite the inspiration to exercise. Whichever way you would like to look at it, a dog will encourage you to get out and exercise; whether it’s through a hike, a walk around the block, or a spirited romp at a dog park. This will go a long way in taking you away from the cloud-like feeling of mental stress.
A dog can give you a sense of purpose. Even when you are too stressed to get out of the bed, remembering that you have a dog to feed and to take care of can be adequate motivation for you to get up and face the world.
A Sense of Calm
Dogs are known to have a relaxing effect. Petting or stroking a dog can significantly enhance your mood. Studies have shown that petting a dog helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone that is usually associated with stress. It has also been established that brief interactions with a dog can ease fear and anxiety. In a nutshell, there is scientific evidence to suggest that a dog can help to calm your nerves.
In some cases, stress can make a person prefer avoiding people. However, a dog will always open up the world for you. A dog can help you to meet new people, get to know them, spark friendships with them, and consequently, strengthen your social support network. For instance, when you are walking with your dog, you become more approachable, and it can become more comfortable for you to speak even to strangers. By having more people you can talk to about a subject you both have interest in, you can forget your worries and reduce stress levels.
Overall, it is apparent that although there are many dog lovers out there, very few understand the critical role a dog can play when it comes to managing stress. The truth is that a dog is not human’s best friend for nothing. Dogs bring companionship, unconditional love, and a sense of purpose in our lives. Besides, dogs are known to the get people involved in activities that are effective in calming nerves and suppressing the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and even depression.