With April being ‘Stress Awareness Month’, we wanted to highlight how our furry friends act like therapists for us. I think with what is going on in the world right now, stress levels are going to be elevated for awhile! It’s no surprise that our pets can bring comfort and healing as well as reduce our stress, anxiety and depression levels. It is scientifically proven that the stress hormone cortisol is significantly lowered by animals.
What exactly can animals do for our stress levels?
- Physical Benefits:
-Lower/control blood pressure
-Improve cardiovascular health
-Release oxytocin, a calming/bonding endorphin
-Said to lower physical pain
- Mental Benefits:
-Encourage communication/social interaction, thus avoiding loneliness/isolation
-Create motivation for faster recovery
-Boost workplace productivity and encourages teamwork
A few other days this month where we can appreciate the positive impact that pets can have are:
April 10th: National Hug Your Dog Day
April 30th: National Therapy Animal Day
This human-animal bond is becoming more and more recognized as having a positive impact on people. We are seeing animals come to schools to provide stress relief, in airports to provide a bit of peace in a stressful environment, and some companies offer Corporate Canine Therapists in the workplace.
In a basic summary:
Feeling down? Pet an animal.
Feeling anxious? Walk a dog.