Being a pet owner is rewarding in a lot of ways, but did you also know it can reduce your stress? Between scientific studies and stories from pet parents around the globe, there’s lots of evidence that pets bring stress reduction just as effective as meditation and yoga.
1. Companion animals relax us. Being a pet parent promotes relaxation and eases any anxiety you have about the pressures of life or your to-do list. The companionship and love from animals give you emotional comfort, but there’s physical ways they relax you,too. When you look at their adorable faces, oxytocin, the “love hormone” from your brain, is released, making your heart happy. And whether you walk your dog or play with your cat, the exercise you do with them increases endorphins in your brain to relax you. Additionally, several studies have found that petting or playing with your pet increases dopamine and serotonin in your brain, chemicals that calm and relax you, too.
2. Pets can also help you worry less. Watching your pet for any amount of time will show you they are amazing examples of finding joy in the simple things and enjoying the moment. Companion animals don’t worry about deadlines or stress about bills. Following your pet’s example to live in the moment can help you be more mindful, lowering your overall stress as well as your blood pressure.