How Having a Pet can Help You Overcome Depression
Having a pet can help you with depression. Many psychiatrists recommend pet therapy to people suffering from clinical depression. Depression has spread like a wildfire these days. In America only, there are more than 40 million adults suffering from depression. Not only in USA but it is very common in Europe, Australia and Asia too. There are many new severe cases of depression everyday in every country on the planet.
But thank God! There are many tools and methods available that can help you battle depression naturally and finally winning over it. Approaches such as mediation for depression, mindfulness meditation, heartfulness mediation, pet therapy, yoga, exercise, sharing and socialization have very high and positive effects on depression. Therefore, here we are having a look at how your pet such as a dog, cat, rabbit or any other pet animal can help you feel good and getting rid of depression and other mental issues. So here are 9 reasons having a pet can help you overcome depression:
1. You Feel Loved:
The owner himself is his pet’s whole world. You provide him/her with everything including love, food, security fun and a roof. In return, all you get is a companion who loves you unconditionally. They cannot fake it like most of us humans can.
According to clinical evidence, your pet genuinely loves you. It is obvious that food does play a big role in it, but there are so many other things involved. For example, do you love your mother and father just because they provide home, education and food to you? No, right? There are so many other things involved in it that you can’t ignore. The same goes with pets. They love you not just for food but for you many qualities.
Also Read: How to Stop being too Hard on Yourself
I will explain it with the help of a true story. When I was 7 or 8, we had a dog. We loved him but my mother had some issues with him. So she gave him to one of our relatives but he ran for miles and reached back home just the other day. I honestly don’t know how he remembered the way but he came back to us.
Then my mother gave him to some other relative and the same story again, he somehow managed to get back home again. But then she gave him to a relative, who lives very far from my home so he could not manage to get back home this time. Some years later, we came to know that he died. We all cried that day. This shows his love and affection to us. So moral of the story is, your pet loves you, no matter what.
2. You Don’t Feel Lonely If You Have a Pet:
If you own a pet, it means you have a friend. He/she is always with you. Whenever you feel lonely, you have a companion to play with or to spend some time with. It doesn’t demand more, it loves you unconditionally because you are his/her whole world. Animals also teach you how to be quiet, alone and still be happy.
They don’t talk any human language, they communicate with you just with their body language and facial expressions without even talking. This makes you aware of other living being’s feelings without them telling you about it. your pets are with you and don’t let you feel lonely. This is very helpful if you are battling with everyday stress, anxiety and most importantly depression. This is one of the ways how having a pet can help you overcome depression.
3. Pets Make You Feel Responsible:
If you have a pet, you automatically learn how to be responsible. You feed it, clean it, take it to the park, play with it and take care of it. It brings out the responsible and caring part of you, this shows that you give a damn about it and about life overall. You learn to take ownership for your actions. This turns you into a responsible person and it is a huge step forward in overcoming depression.
4. Minimizes Laziness and You Become Active:
Having a pet demands you to be active. It makes you more alert and aware of the situations. This makes you less lazy, which is a good thing if your suffer from depression. You learn to take care of your pet as a responsible person.
You have to feed it on time, take care of it, clean it regularly, play with it, walk outside with it and above all show it your love. Depression makes you too lazy to express your positive feelings such as love and compassion. But you learn to overcome and eventually master the art of expressing just by having a pet. This is one of the ways how having a pet can help you overcome depression.
6. Having a pet Leads You to an Active Lifestyle:
Having a pet will definitely help you lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Dogs, cats or rabbits need exercise and sunlight, which means you will have to spend some time playing or exercising with them. Being involved in any form of exercise is a huge step forward to get rid of stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise increases endorphins, which help you fight depression and all sort of negative thoughts. This is one of the ways how having a pet can help you overcome depression.
7. Improves Your Self-worth, which is a Great Step Forward to Overcome Depression:
You start to feel the sense of responsibility and ownership, which in turn improves your self-worth. Many doctors suggest that you build self-esteem by taking ownership of the pet and taking care of another living being. It makes you feel confident that you can take care of the pet along with yourself, which leaves an everlasting impact on your personal growth and self-esteem. This is one of the ways how having a pet can help you overcome depression.
8. You Learn to Become Social:
Everyone likes pets. When you take your pet outside in a park, people start to notice you and some might wanna play with your pet. This process introduces you to new people. You interact with them and feel good.
Interaction with other people, especially face-to-face, has been proven to alleviate symptoms of many mental issues including stress, anxiety and depression. You might end up having new friends and your social life improves significantly. This will definitely reduce the feeling of loneliness you might feel in a depressive episode.
9. A Study On How Having a Pet can Help You With Depression:
A study conducted in 2016 explored the possibilities of how pets can help people fighting depression or any long-term mental health problem. The researchers found that pets provide a sense of responsibility, security, routine and ownership, which in turn provides emotional and social support to you.
Many other studies have also proven that pets are medium of many good friendships and relationships. They facilitate in getting to know people well, which significantly improves your social life. Having a pet can help you with depression, stress, anger, anxiety and all other kinds of mental problems. This is one of the ways how having a pet can help you overcome depression.
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