For too long, Americans have been dealing with a great deal of stress. That’s why it’s important to always keep an open mind to new ideas and solutions for mental health issues. Dogs come with a great deal of responsibility. But did you know that they are great for relieving stress? Check out these ways your dog can help improve your mental health.
They Alleviate Stress Symptoms
Following a long day filled with seemingly endless tasks, there’s absolutely nothing better than your dog greeting you at your door. There are scientifically proven reasons as to why your dog can improve your mood. According to one study, interacting with a pet boosts your brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin — two chemicals that can assist you in managing stress and anxiety symptoms. On top of that, interacting with dogs can also lower high blood pressure — another symptom of stress and anxiety.
Dogs Can Help Give Your Life Some Structure
Chaos and uncertainty can be stressful. Fortunately, regardless of what’s going on in their life, dog owners will always have a sense of structure. Taking care of a pet is hard work. You have to feed it, take it out on regular walks, clean up after it, and be generally attentive to their health and needs. While this surely can sometimes be overwhelming, it’s also great for organizing your day. There are numerous health benefits to having a routine. For instance, people who have a routine tend to also have lower stress levels and improved sleep.
Dogs Are Great for Exercise
Studies have shown that exercise is a fantastic way to manage stress. When you’re active, your body releases endorphins which can elevate your mood. It’s no secret that dogs love to play around and exercise. In addition to regular walks, they also love to play fetch and run around. If you are looking to exercise more, you can take them out on your runs, so you have a workout companion.
Dogs Can Improve Your Confidence Levels
Taking care of a pet isn’t easy. Yes, there are plenty of moments of fun and lightheartedness. But by and large, it’s hard work. A great way to build up your self-esteem and confidence is to take on responsibilities and duties. When you accomplish short-term goals — even if it’s as simple as cleaning up after your pet — you’re boosting up your ability to tackle larger things in the future. When you have higher confidence, you are less stressed about daily inconveniences.
Taking Care of Your Pet Is a Great Model for Your Other Relationships
When you are taking care of an animal, you need to be patient and attentive and, regardless of what happens, committed. While humans are undoubtedly more complex than dogs, there’s a lot of lessons that can crossover. For instance, training a dog can take a long time, and though it may get frustrating, you can never give up. With your friends, family members, and partner, you also have to be patient as you grow and learn together. Having better quality friendships and relationships can lower your stress levels, and when you feel overwhelmed, you are guaranteed to have plenty of people to confide in.
Dogs Can Help You Meet New People
Isolation can lead to higher levels of stress. Regardless of how hard you try, it can be tough to meet new people. Even if you go out of your way and try to reach out to people, friendships take a long time to flourish. In addition to keeping you company throughout the day, dogs can also help you meet new people. Across the country, there are regular meet-ups of people with dogs at the local park. On top of that, when you post a charming photo of your dog on social media, you are opening yourself up to countless potential connections with people who also have four-legged companions. You can exchange pointers on food, treats, and training.
If you are looking for a romantic partner, including a photo of you with your dog in your dating profile can be a great way to strike up something to talk about. Who knows? Maybe you will match someone, and both take your dogs to the park together!
There are plenty of reasons why dogs are fantastic for relieving stress. Though taking care of a dog can help improve your mental health, you can also turn to telepsychiatry to help with your needs. Treating anxiety with online therapy is convenient and seamless — you can get the help you need from the comfort of your home.