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The Many Ways Having a Pet Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Research Shows That Pets Are Good For Your Mental Health

Many people choose to get a pet for companionship, but a pet can do far more than keep you company.

Numerous studies have revealed that having a pet can improve your mental health. It doesn't matter whether your pet is four-legged and furry or covered in feathers — any type of pet can help your mental health, and here are some of the many ways that caring for a pet can impact your mood, energy and more.

Meet new people

Friends can boost your mood, provide comfort and make you feel emotionally supported. But, some adults find it difficult to make new friends and their mental health suffers as a result.

Fortunately,  a pet can make it easier for you to meet and build relationships with new people. For example, a dog owner might make friends when walking their dog, playing with their dog at a local park or even attending training classes with their pup.

Thanks to your pet, you can create friendships that will improve your mental health.

Establish a routine

Caring for a pet will force you to add more structure and routine to your daily life. Your pet will need to be fed, walked and cared for at certain times of the day, which will leave you with no choice but to establish a daily routine.

Following the same daily routine may sound stressful or dull, but establishing a routine is incredibly beneficial to your mental health .

Build self-esteem

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. Taking on this responsibility may seem overwhelming, but it can actually improve your mental health in the long run. Taking care of your pet will help you realize that you are capable of caring for yourself and others. This realization can drastically increase your self-esteem and elevate your mood.

Reduce stress levels

Nothing can compare to the joyful feeling of coming home to your pet after a stressful day. If you instantly feel relieved when spending time with your pet, you're not alone. Research has shown that spending time with a pet can provide more stress relief than spending time with your spouse alone or with your spouse and pet together.

Stay physically active

Many people associate physical activity with physical health, but staying active can improve your mental health as well. Exercising regularly can improve symptoms of depression , anxiety, ADHD and sleep disorders. It is also a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood.

If you're having trouble staying active, a pet might be the motivation you need to get moving. You can stay active by playing with your pet around the house or taking a walk outdoors. Over time, the increase in physical activity will have a significant impact on your mental health.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!