A lot of people around the world suffer from the horrors of stress and anxiety during different phases of their life. It can not only affect our brain’s cognitive functions but alter the physical ones as well like hypertension, nausea, vomiting, and fever. It is also one of the reasons for breath shortness that might indicate heart disease. American Veterinary Medical Association has deducted that animal-assisted therapy is used in numerous ways to create an ideal environment for the people suffering from stress. It includes using animals mainly dogs for recreational activities, exercise and motivational opportunities which might increase the quality of life. Animals here become a critical part of the treatment and help aid an individual in their social, physical and emotional insecurities. This art of Pet therapy is derived from different disciplines of sociology, psychology and later inculcated in veterinary medicine. It is observed that the relationship between animals with individuals is stronger enough without any expectations and they become a reason for them to reduce the nightmares of stress.
The relationship between pet therapy and stress management is a new one. Pet therapy is an interaction of a trained animal with a person. It may involve animal’s caretaker as well. The purpose of this exercise is to reduce mental disorders and health issues in people. Cats and dogs are commonly used for this exercise. Choice of animal is directly proportional to the treatment a person is receiving and how they feel about interacting with that animal. Positive therapeutic effects are shown from an interface with guinea, fish, and horses. Pet therapy is not equivalent to animal-assisted therapy to infuse recreational activities and interaction of animals with people. It is a structured way of meeting specific mental goals and aids the treatment of depression in the process.
This article will elaborate on some of the advantages of pet therapy and how it is effective in treating stress for individuals.
Advantages of Pet Therapy:
Interacting with an animal in a controlled setting creates a predominant human and animal’s bond which is embedded in our genes. The meeting can have several improvement signs in your physical and mental health. It can decrease hypertension and aids the overall health of our heart. It has a lot of psychological advantages like reduction in pain, stress and calming effect due to the production of endorphins. It is important to plan the session beforehand and define a set of objectives that are aimed at the Pet Therapy session.
Some of the tested benefits of Pet therapy are below:
- It can help in increasing the motor skills and joint movement in patients with frozen shoulder or arthritis.
- It can give you a feeling of independence and happiness
- It increases your self-confidence and self-esteem
- It has continuous improvement in your verbal communication
- The interaction aids you in developing social skills.
- It is aimed to give you the confidence to join other activities and leave a life of isolation behind you.
- It helps you to communicate effectively with others and have a stress free social life.
- It gives you opportunities to increase your willingness to work out and exercise.
- The presence of a companion lower your feeling of loneliness
- It gives you a chance to learn nurturing and empathic skills for your children.
Relationship of Pet Therapy with Stress Management
Nowadays, people are flooded with busy routines and expectations which bury their mental state in a deep grave. The encounter stress symptoms and not even know they are suffering from a disease. Innocent nature of an animal plays a critical role in reducing stress management. If you care for a furry little puppy or cute green eyed cat, you can relieve yourself from a high-stress lifestyle. They are always there for you and keep your focus on the beauty of the present day. It can come with a number of rewards and unconditional love that is hard to find in the present day. Pet Therapy can reduce your stress in the following ways:
- Love and Well-being:
Animals are there to love you. Whenever they recognize, they come running towards you with love and affection. Pet therapy sessions sometimes aim to increase that love to introduce a feeling of wellbeing in an individual. They start looking forward to these sessions and demonstrate reduced stress levels with a passage of time.
- Good Listener
Animals can be very good listeners. You can say anything to them and they will not judge you. They only know that the person in front of them is kind to them. They respond to the feelings and they don’t care what you are talking about. In this way, you can take all the burden of unsaid words out. It reduces your strain drastically. A recent study has concluded that people who are doing a critical task feel more energized if their pet is around. They have a feeling that a supportive and loving friend is there for them.
- Mood Lifters
The love of animals is something which always has a positive effect on your mood. When you see their innocent face and eyes full of love, it is impossible for you to remain in a bad mood. The physical interaction like cuddling, meeting eyes and soft rubs of your cat will reduce the strain on your brain. One of the studies has shown that a man affected by AIDS got out of his depression when he owned a pet.
In light of the above-mentioned advantages and effects, caring for an animal will bring happiness in your life and produce a stress-free lifestyle. They are always cuddling with you asking for your love and attention. Although, taking care of an animal being unwanted responsibilities in your life so it’s best that you first see through the therapy sessions. If being around your favorite animal is rewarding and eases your stress levels, then you can later decide to adopt it. However, the most factor is your health. Having an additional member of your family and your companion as a pet will give you happiness and stress.