If you have been looking for stress relief you have likely heard of a host things that can help – things like meditation, yoga and listening to relaxing music come to mind. One that rarely would be thought of is how a dog can positively lower your stress levels and improve your health.
According to Dog Desires, having a dog can be more effective than all the other methods combined for improving and relieving stress – they may be a little biased but below are the 5 ways you can lower your stress with the help of your four-legged friend.
Lowers blood pressure
The first thing to discuss is how having a dog lowers your blood pressure. This has been backed by many studies for example this study where petting a dog or talking to a dog was proven to lower blood pressure.
This isn’t the only study showing this evidence – there have been multiple studies which have been shown to back up this statement so it’s as good as fact really. When people are with their dog they are generally more calm and relaxed which only helps with the feeling of relaxation which in turn is also helps lower blood pressure which is great for good health.
Unlike the first point this one is more about a more general effect that a dog improves your mood.
Being around a dog generally puts people in a happier state with more positivity flowing through their veins. Any pet owner can attest to this also, that feeling of having a great friend that is always willing to make them smile is something that can always improve mood and attitude.
Social support ties in with improving your mood. If you have social time with your dog you will always feel better and happier. This is especially important and beneficial for those who may be spending more time alone than others.
Having a dog removes that social loneliness that you may feel. This way you will always have a buddy who wants to chill and enjoy time with you.
Encourages activity and exercise
When you have a dog it usually encourages you to be active. For instance, when a lot of people arrive home after work who don’t have a dog they would often decide to stay home for the rest of the evening.
When you have a dog you feel obliged to take them for a walk even when you don’t want to. Even when you feel tired and stressed after work taking your dog for a walk really lifts a weight off your shoulders. There is nothing more rewarding than your dog’s reaction to your suggestion of going out for a walk.
So when you are going for the walk you have the benefit of the exercise but you also have the bonding and time together with your pet which makes for an incredible anti-stressing effect that really is hard to beat when compared with other techniques.
A great distraction
Let’s say you are stressed from situations in your life. A great way to help lessen the stress is to have a distraction. And there is nothing better than having a dog to act as a distraction.
Having a dog requires some preparation and thinking to make sure they will fit with your life and that you have the time to looked after them. You have to think about what will I feed them, when will I feed them, when will I take them for a walk, when will I take them outside to go potty etc.
The point here is it gives you something else that is productive and positive to think about which is a great thing to take your mind away from feeling stressed. In this way it helps to lower any stress or anxiety you may be suffering- at least for a while.
In conclusion you can easily see that having a dog is great for your health on so many different levels, not just limited to helping stress but just overall great for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Courtesy of Dog Desires
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