How Having a Pet Can Calm Your Nerves

How Having a Pet Can Calm Your Nerves

As parents, anxiety and stress often come with the package, especially before big and special events. It’s also relatively common for people when they are faced with new situations or something they may have a fear of. The good news is, one way to help you relax and soothe your nerves may already literally be laying at your feet!

That’s right, your pets and domestic animals can be great stress busters. Even better, sometimes you’re not even really consciously aware of how your pet’s presence may be helping you get through the tough times. In this article, we take a little look behind the scenes at some practical ways your pet may help your mental health.

How Having a Pet Can Calm Your Nerves

black and white english shepherd dog

Pets Help You Think About Something Else

If you’re feeling anxious and stressed, a common tactic recommended by health professionals is to find a distraction or diversion to focus on. Call it dog diversion, cat deflection if you will, but the presence of your pet can help you re-frame your thinking away from the thoughts or the situation that is bothering you.

This can be particularly helpful for people with fears and phobias. If you’re anxious about being alone in the house, the presence of a pet with their super-sensitive radar to anything out of the ordinary will soon alert you if there actually is something or someone nearby. In the same token, if you have a fear of getting out and about, having a dog walk alongside you can help overcome those anxieties.

Pets Make You Move Around

Exercise is good for both our minds and body. Most of us already know that. What we often don’t realize is that even the very basic act of taking care of feeding your pet forces you to move your body. Combine a few yoga stretches when you’re reaching into the cupboard, or placing your pet’s bowl on the floor and it’s a win-win mind-body situation for both of you.

If you’ve got a dog, no matter what size, they’re going to need regular exercise. Likewise, a cat, even though we tend to think they look after this themselves, a piece of paper on the end of a string can help you both move and entertain yourself at the same time. Take their cue. Many pets instinctively know when it’s time to get moving (aka the cat crazies!). Take the time to get a little exercise at the same time your pet does, and you’ll reap the rewards.

Pets Help You Relax

Pets can help you relax in so many ways. There’s the physical act of stroking and patting an animal. This is a repetitive motion that both of you will are likely to find very, very soothing. There’s the humor in seeing your pet do something that is so outside of the behavior that we are conditioned into as humans that you can’t help but laugh. If you’ve ever clicked on any funny dog/cat/rabbit videos online, and who hasn’t, you’ll know what we mean.

Pets Can Help You Love

The love and companionship of a pet are unconditional. Their affection for you is based on knowing you treat them well and love them to bits. The look that a pet may give you, with soft knowing eyes full of love, believe it. It’s real. Studies have found that the same bonding process and endorphins that are firing between a parent and child happen between people and their pets. So yes, it is indeed mutual. Both you and your pet feel the love, and more relaxed and warm and fuzzy as a result!

How Having a Pet Can Calm Your Nerves

Pets Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that people with pets tend to have lower blood pressure. That’s got to be good news for anyone whose blood pressure potentially rises with their anxiety and stress levels. Even better, just your pet’s presence helps with healthier blood pressure. Anytime you do pat, stroke, or get in some daily exercise with your pet is an added bonus for your BP.

Pets are Social and Emotional Support

As many pet people will attest, a pet often intuitively and instinctively seems to pick up on when you are out of sorts. They may seek to reassure you or keep their distance. Both of which can be a good indication that you need to address your anxiety levels.

People who love animals also usually consider pets as a part of their family. If you’re feeling a little disconnected with other people, it is entirely possible to have a close connection with your pet and know that you’re not alone. The friendship of a cat curled up on your lap, or a dog by your side can do wonders to help with any worries around loneliness or isolation.

Pets Are Good Listeners

Did you know that there are therapy animals that help kids and adults with reading difficulties? There are many schools and libraries that recognize that the quiet non-judgmental presence of reading to an animal can help people with learning difficulties gain confidence and new skills.

What’s more, if you talk to your own pet they will respond. Okay, maybe not a specific answer that you’re trying to work out, but many pets such as cats and dogs love communicating with the people in their life either vocally, or through an affectionate rub, full body lean, and even the gentle head butt of a cat.

People Can Help With Your Pets Too

If you do have a mental health condition such as anxiety, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), domestic animals can be recognized as part of a treatment plan. Check out information on emotional support animals (ESA). Your ‘ordinary’ pet can be elevated to be an ESA for you if its presence alleviates and helps you manage symptoms that limit your quality of life. Aside from the benefit to your health, there is some legal protection from discrimination for having an emotional support animal in rental housing and during air travel.

Do you have a pet?

Tell us about your furry friend in the comments below!

 

9 Must Haves For Your She Shed

9 Must Haves For Your She Shed

Move over, man caves, this momma needs her she shed!

I work from home as a blog mentor and business strategist, and that sounds like a dream, yeah?

Set my own hours, my own salary. Hey, I don’t even have to put on a bra if I don’t want to!

Oooh but wait. I’m a mom. And while yes, I do set my own salary (and don’t put on a bra unless I have to do preschool drop-off!) there’s no such thing as setting my own hours, because let’s face it – no mom with kids under 5 gets to sleep in on a regular basis. If you do, you’re my hero.

My days consist of my 5 year old waking me up with the sun and while my husband does handle bedtime, there’s no reprieve from about 6:30am until at least 6:30pm. I’ve lived the life of 12 hour workdays with no breaks, but I was 23 then and farrrrrrrr less tired. Plus I had colleagues to keep me from losing my mind. My colleagues now typically do the opposite.

So you know what I want…nay NEED in my next house?

A she shed.

She Shed Must-Haves

Note: the links below may be affiliate links, which means I’ll receive commission should you click through to make a purchase. This in no way impacts your purchase price nor my opinion of said products.

Our current home was built around 1880 and while it’s gorgeous in its antiquity, there is no garage. Heh there’s no even outlets in our bathrooms! So my next home? A she shed is a must.

She shed must haves, self care tips for moms

First in this dream she shed, I’ll obviously need the coziest of robes. One that makes me feel like a queen when I put it on…a queen ready for a nap. This robe on Amazon would be perfect (it even has a hood!!)

 

Since I’ll then be ready for my nap, I’ll obviously need somewhere cozy to curl up. This bean bag chair is not only ridiculously comfortable, but it’s microsuede (ooOOooh!)

After my nap, I’ll obviously need a cup of coffee. We just bought a Ninja Coffee Bar last month and sorry, hubs, but it’s coming with me to my she shed! I mean, c’mon…you can add froth. What’s better than froth?!

With that heavenly cup of perfectly made coffee, I’ll need to pick up a book and read away my woes. A friend of mine who runs Miracle Blogger recently introduced me to A Course in Miracles and while it’s a slow read, it’s great at helping bring things into perspective. Not only that, but it’s one I definitely can’t read when I have the kids around so it’ll be a definite she shed must-have.

After I work through a lesson, I’ll obviously need to reward myself with another cup of coffee (don’t forget the froth!) and a treat. I’m not really one for sweets, though, so bring on the savory carbs!! I’ll hide them away in this cabinet just in case any varmits should try to steal my snacks.

From there, it would be time to perhaps do a bit of journaling. I used to write in my journal constantly, but it’s a sad rarity these days. I still have one, though – it’s this great Tree of Life journal and I absolutely love it. You can even purchase add-ons in case you’re a super mom who does have time to journal on a regular basis! 🙂

Now I’m not much in the ways of decor, but a small fountain of some sort would also be a she shed must-have. I’ve always been drawn to flowing water and I think it would do nicely to drown out the faint sounds of my husband whimpering at the door, begging me to come wrangle the little ones.

As I do finally wrap up my “mommy time” I’d want to grab an ice cold Pepsi from my Pepsi fridge. My grandma was always an avid Pepsi lover and it’s definitely a trait she passed onto me. While it may not be super healthy, there’s little better than a cold Pepsi as I would then trudge my way back to the little ones and hope my husband hadn’t yet run away from home.

Pepsi Beverage Fridge

 

Oh and on those days where I’m able to have that escape, you can most definitely bet I’ll be using The Dinner Daily to help ensure our meal plans stay healthy, affordable, and (best of all) EASY!

I will say that I wouldn’t trade any of this to go back to the corporate world. No way, no how. While my children may drive me mad some most days, I am incredibly blessed to have the ability to work from home and be with them as much as I am.

Plus there’s still the whole no bra thing.

What’s your She Shed or Man Cave Must Have?

Comment below, I’d love to know!