Pets are an unrelated, non-human, living creature that eats and poops. Pets rely upon you to take care of them.
What do you get out of owning a pet other than more responsibility?
How on earth can more responsibility help you to relax?!
12 Ways Pets Help You Relax
A few facts about pet ownership may help you to see why it is such a great idea to own a pet…especially as we age.
- Reduces stress – It may sound crazy, but playing with, petting and caring for a pet can often increase the levels of oxytocin and decrease cortisol. So pets increase the stress-reducing hormone and decrease the stress causing hormone.
- Unconditional love – Some people say that animals do not “love” people. Regardless of how you classify what I call “love” from my pets, it sure feels like love. They give of themselves totally. Bella snuggles me and when I cry, she licks my tears. It feels like love to me.
- Lowers blood pressure – Pets help to reduce stress and tension which leads to a lower blood pressure.
- Reduces loneliness – Pets are great companions. They help us to feel wanted and needed. They listen without interrupting and that often helps us figure out solutions to our problems. Pets can be our best friends.
- Tolerant of our mistakes – No matter what mood we are in when we get home, a pet doesn’t mind. They are still excited to see us even if dinner is 3 hours late for the third time this week. Pets do not hold a grudge or keep a list of our mistakes.
- More responsibility – Taking care of a pet is a big responsibility. However, with the added responsibility of another living thing relying on your care, you will feel more valued in life. A pet will help you to feel important and will give you something to think about other than yourself..
- Reduces depression – Pets decrease our cortisol levels which in turn reduces our stress. Pets increase oxytocin and that in turn increases our happiness. With less stress and more happiness, the end result is that pets reduce depression.
- Don’t judge – Pets never judge you. No matter what you wear, eat, say or how you act, pets will never judge you.
- Add structure and routines to your schedule – Pets require “maintenance” on a regular schedule. Because of the structure needed in taking care of a pet, we maintain a routine. People are more apt to arise and go to bed at the same time each day. This helps our bodies to work more efficiently.
- Playfulness and creativity – Playing with a pet often elevates the level of serotonin and dopamine which are nerve transmitters. These nerve transmitters are known to have pleasurable and calming properties.
- Touching – When humans are positively touched, we feel better. There is something naturally soothing about petting our animals. It also optimizes our immune system by building white blood cells.
- Vitality booster – Your immune system and energy level can get a boost because pets tend to help us laugh and exercise more.