In a recent study, Gallup found that 80% of Americans consider themselves stressed. While that may be unsurprising given the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s led people to search for ways to relieve that stress. One of the best ways to do this, studies have found, is spending time with “man’s best friend”. Owning a dog is a good amount of work and a great amount of responsibility, but the health benefits go farther than you may think. Interacting with your dog can lead to exercise, companionship, and many other aspects that can relieve stress and improve your state of life. Even something like napping with your best friend has proven health benefits, and there’s plenty more ways that dogs can reduce stress.
Part of owning a dog is keeping them active, and that keeps you active as well. High-stress but low-mobility careers, such as office or teaching jobs, can have your mind frazzled but your body stagnant. Sitting in a desk or at a computer all day has you worn out without ever having to work up any sort of a sweat, and that physical inactivity only adds to your sluggish feelings. The best way to counter this, of course, is to be more active.
Your best friend will make you be more active. It could be something as routine and relatively trivial as a walk around the neighborhood, or something as active as playing in the park. Either way, your body will be getting healthier, and right next to it will be your mental state. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, physical activity is proven to reduce stress. This can lead to a domino effect for the rest of your life. That said, don’t forget to rest when necessary!
But Resting Is Important
Just because your job has you physically active doesn’t mean you’re less stressed. Intense occupations like nursing and construction can get in the way of taking care of your mental health.. When you get home, you may want to rest and just get off your feet, and having a dog lounging on the couch with you has undeniable and proven effects. Just the feeling of togetherness with your best friend is a massive boost to your mental state.
With Your Best Friend
Your dog’s head in your lap provides a feeling of companionship and affection. This goes a long way to fend off feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and panic. As well as that, having something that depends on you as much as your best friend will helps your mind in that it gives you a feeling of helpfulness and purpose that many people go without feeling. Especially if you live alone, or if you’re just the only human in your house, having a dog to share the space with you is incredibly helpful.
There are very few facets of life that sharing your life with a dog won’t improve. Just being around your best friend is one of the best feelings that you can have, and the amount of care and affection your loving pet will give you is sure to help with your stressful week. Whether it’s in getting active or in relaxation that you need assistance, your dog won’t be able to help improving your well-being.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner.
Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/@annetnavi