Everyone loves pets: they are cute, funny, they never get bored with them and they are always ready to decorate your photo on social networks. Besides, pets can have a positive effect on a person’s emotional state: they help to cope with tension and anxiety, reduce the risk of depression and may even contribute to an increase in self-esteem. Let’s find out how a pet can become your own personal psychologist.
What Is Pet Therapy
Animals are used in pet therapy programs-the interaction with a pet in them is seen as a way to improve the psychological state of patients. But there are no lasting, stable results after animal therapy that remain stable over the long term. Despite this, there is a huge amount of literature that aims to prove that animal therapy is beneficial.
However, major problems arise when studying the effects of animal therapy. It’s difficult to separate the influence of the animal itself from the influence of human professionals who begin to actively interact with patients (most often children or people with disabilities) during therapy.
It’s also more likely that it is not so much the pets themselves that have an influence, but rather the opportunity to carry out meaningful actions and take responsibility for one’s work. For example, the results of a program with 12-15 year old boys with severe behavioral disorders who were incarcerated in a restrictive environment speak to this. Half of the participants of the experiment had to take care of animals; the second group studied nature with the teacher. As a result, the boys from the first group practically ceased to receive disciplinary punishments. But the reason was not only in the pet itself, but in the fact that it allowed these boys to organize their lives so that there was additional meaning in it, they received positive feedback for their actions.
Helping You Cope With Stress
According to statistics, one in three adults is almost constantly in a state of nervous tension. Difficulties at work, problems in relationships with others – all this affects the emotional state of the person in a bad way. Interaction with a pet, especially tactile, helps to relax and reduce nervous tension. Surprisingly, if you pet the cat at least 15-20 minutes after a hard day, your well-being and mood will improve instantly.
Chronic anxiety is a common problem these days, especially now that routines are changing rapidly. To decrease negative consequences, some people bet via 22Bet, while others like watching TikTok videos. What’s more, tactile contact with animals reduces anxiety and helps calm down more quickly. And it is not only positive emotions: cats and dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, and contact with a warm pet increases the general emotional background and helps to feel safe.
Reducing the Risk of Depression
A study conducted by experts from Harvard Medical School confirmed that dog owners are less prone to develop depressive states. There are several reasons for this. First, dogs are the only pets that can make emotional contact with humans and stimulate the release of the hormone oxytocin, which increases the general emotional background and reduces the likelihood of developing depression. In addition, during times when we are especially stressed and have negative emotions, psychologists recommend that we not fall out of a routine. And what better way to form it than with daily walks with your pet, which simply cannot be missed.
It’s proven that pets can increase the self-esteem of the owner. It’s very simple: pets give the owner unconditional love. They do not care about the appearance, social status or sense of humor of the person. Psychologists believe that the realization that you are loved for nothing, not for something, strengthens self-esteem and helps to believe in yourself. This can be especially true for those people who find themselves in a new unfamiliar environment – for example, in connection with a move or a change of employment.
This ability of pets is especially relevant to young children as they develop. The ability to empathize is not an innate trait; it needs to be developed from an early age. If a child grows up in a home where there is a pet, and at least minimally participates in the care and care of it, there is a high probability that this child will grow up with a well developed empathy and the ability to listen to the feelings of others.