There is nothing quite satisfying, like going home after a long day and meeting your dog wagging its tail-happy to see you. If you are a cat owner, you understand the joy of your cat brushing himself against your feet before jumping on your laps for cuddling. This happiness is just one of the ways that animals show their love for us. Did you know, however, that animals affect our mental health as well? Read on to discover how pets affect your mental health.

1. Pets Help With Stress Relief

Being in the same room with your cat, dog, or another pet produces a calming effect on the mind. This effect comes about when you look at your animal, and the body releases oxytocin, which is a powerful neurochemical that stimulates joyful feelings. It is no wonder that veterans are usually entrusted with dogs. Over time, their trusted companions help these veterans through challenges associated with the stress and PTSD that they go through. The effects go beyond just releasing tension.

Pets also help reduce the body’s blood pressure, and even activities such as watching fish in a pond can help with stress. Specialists from Therapetic often say that pets are not just healthy for people who have been through extensive stressful situations. They offer comfort and ease stressful situations by helping keep you in the moment and away from worrying. 

2. Pets Help Improve Your Self-Esteem

Your pet loves you unconditionally and loves to spend time with you, which makes you feel good about yourself. Most of them are always happy and are free-spirited. Even when you do not realize it, their attitude rubs off on you. When you care for them, you also bond with them, and it gives you the confidence that you can care for something successfully. Besides being there for us, pets are not judgmental, and they take us as we are, which helps us feel free and confident in ourselves. When you look at yourself through your pet’s eyes, you will know how valuable and worthy you are.

3. Pets Help Deal With Depression

Depression is directly linked to stress, and loneliness is one of the foundations of depression. With pets by your side, you have a companion who makes the days less lonely. They also shower you with love and hopefully attention, which helps to deal with depression. Also, they keep you active because pets need love and care, which helps keep you busy and reduce feelings of uselessness that plagues many people who feel depressed. Luckily, pets are attuned to the moods and needs of their owners. That is why dogs tend to offer extra cuddles to their owners when their owners are sad, and less affectionate cats tend to provide comfort for their owners when they sense depression.

4. Pets Help You Feel Fit

If you are a dog-owner, you understand that dogs need to exercise to feel happy. Even cat owners whose furry friends stay indoors get out once in a while to catch some sun and a fair share of exercise. Helping your animals to exercise is not just right for them, but you as well. It helps you keep fit and improves your self-esteem.

5. Pets Help Boost Your Mood

When you interact with pets, the level of the stress hormone-cortisol reduces, and serotonin levels increase. These changes in the body affect your mood positively, and you feel happier and lighter. If you were wondering whether you should go out and watch those ducks swimming in the pond, you have a reason to go now. 

6. Pets Connect You With People

You may be wondering how pets connecting you with other people is helpful for your mind. One way for humans to remain psychologically healthy is by staying engaged with others. One way of staying connected is by talking to people with the same interests as you. Cat owners, especially, understand this. Nothing beats the joy of hanging out with a person who understands that you can talk with your cat or that a cat is judgemental, among other things. Dog owners like to stop and talk to other dog owners when they meet on the street. Socializing with people who have the same interests is right for your mental wellbeing.

7. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease causes a high number of deaths in most countries. Stress, high blood pressure, and stress are correlated. Pets reduce stress levels and help calm their owners, and by extension, they help reduce the risk for high blood pressure and related illnesses. They also help with recovery. 

Pets are beautiful, not just because of how they look but also because they help human beings in so many ways. Their effect on human mental health helps keep us healthy, even when we do not see it. It is said that most pets pass and leave us wounded, but they teach us to live in the moment and to enjoy what is most important.