Have you ever noticed that your mood improves after spending time with animals? You’re not alone, animals are great for our mental wellbeing and here is why.
They lower our stress levels
Spending time with animals has many benefits, with studies showing that they can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies thus lowering our stress levels and helping us relax. Animals have also been shown to lower our blood pressure, relieve the symptoms of anxiety and help with other mental health conditions such as depression.
They provide a sense of purpose
Animals in our care need us to look after them. They provide us with a sense of purpose and make us feel needed and loved, which in turn, improves our mood and reduces the likelihood of developing issues with mental health. It can also help to boost our self-esteem and confidence.
They help us develop healthy habits
Animals bring responsibility. They need feeding and to have their basic welfare needs met every day regardless of how you feel or what you are up to. They need regular check-ups and potentially monthly or yearly preventative treatments or vaccinations, and if you share your house with a dog, you’ll be out and about walking with them every day.
All of this adds routine into our lives and breeds healthy habits such as getting exercise and spending time outdoors or practising self-care and getting out of bed in the morning. It’s good for our physical and mental health.
They start friendships and combat loneliness
How many conversations have you had while out and about with your dog or while with your companion animal? They are a conversation starter and a common ground that makes breaking the ice easy. For people who feel socially isolated, animals can bring that sense of connection they miss, from both an animal and human perspective.
Are you ready to care for an animal?
While it is clear that living with animals has many benefits to us, that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. Taking on a companion animal is a big responsibility with financial and time commitments to think about. Before making the leap, do your research and make sure you invite the right animal into your home. For more information read our previous blog: Am I Ready for a Pet?