With so much uncertainty, this has proven to be a scary time for everyone! While we go through this together, it's important to remember that our pets can also help us through times of anxiety. You can call it the pet effect.
98% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family. Not only are people happier in the presence of animals, they’re also healthier. In a survey of pet owners, 74% of pet owners reported mental health improvements from pet ownership, and 75% of pet owners reported a friend’s or family member’s mental health has improved from pet ownership.
Anxiety can be the worst. For people with anxiety disorders or even those who just get anxious a lot, there's often no way around it, but there are some ways to manage it. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms that work for them (and not every method works for every person), but sometimes, having a pet can help to curb anxiety.
While our pets can't talk, and maybe they don't know exactly what anxiety is, animals are a lot more intuitive than people think. For a person with anxiety, a pet can do wonders. Here are just a few small ways having a pet can be a fantastic thing for an anxious person:
A pet is always down to cuddle: When your anxiety is all-consuming and you're freaking out, having your pet jump into your lap and begin to snuggle can really help bring you back down.
You have someone to listen to who won't offer advice: A pet will never try to fix you. You can sit with your pet on the couch for hours and just rant, and she won't try to advise you or solve all your problems. There are times when you just want to talk, and you don't need anyone to say anything back. A pet will simply sit there and love you. And sometimes, that's all you need.
They offer an excellent distraction: When you have a pet around, you have to focus on him. As we all know, pets need a lot of care and attention. Your pet needs food and walks and love - all things you can focus on to distract you from your impending doom.
Playing with your pet can be a great way to clear your mind: when you're taking your dog on a walk or your cat is going nuts over a piece of string, you may realize you aren't thinking about anything stressful or anxiety-provoking. Your mind is clear, and you're happy just making your pet happy.