How Getting a Pet Can Help Boost Your Mental Health
Suffering from mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety can be incredibly overwhelming at times. They can make it difficult to socialize, to focus on work, and sometimes you can’t even bring yourself to get out of bed. While talking therapies and certain medications are both things that can help people through these difficult times, getting a pet could also help to boost your mental health. While pet ownership isn’t for everyone and shouldn’t be taken lightly, if you think you can take on the responsibility, you might find it helps you get through the harder days a little bit easier. Here are a few reasons why getting a pet can help your mental health.
If you get a cat or dog that is soft to the touch and enjoys being petted, this interaction with your pet can help to soothe feelings of anxiety and stress. The softness of the animal’s fur is comforting to touch, and it is also a bonding experience with you and your pet. This process relaxes both you and your pet, which can help if you are starting to feel overwhelmed.
Struggling with poor mental health can be an isolating experience at times. It can be difficult to communicate how you’re feeling to others, particularly if they have never been through what you’re going through, or have a limited understanding of the complexities of mental health issues. Although your pet might not be able to talk back to you, they are excellent companions who can give you comfort when you’re feeling low, and you can even talk things out with them if you want to get some things off your chest! At the very least, they’ll come to cuddle with you to try and cheer you up.
A Sense of Purpose
Struggles with mental health can often leave people with a lack of motivation and feeling as though they don’t have a purpose. If you have had periods when you have felt this way, getting a pet can offer a partial remedy to that. There are various responsibilities you will take on as a pet owner, such as regular feeding times, daily walks if you get a dog, taking them to the vet, making sure they are well-groomed, etc. This can help you feel needed as well as getting you into a good routine. If you do get a pet, speak to a vet about the specific needs of your animal, including what food they need for a good diet. You can see more quality pet food and information at exceptionalpets.com.
This is more for those who choose to get a pet dog, as you will need to take them out for daily walks. Not only does this add structure to your day, but physical activity is always recommended to help with low mental health.
This is because exercise will release the endorphins in your brain, which are a natural mood booster. The fresh air will help to make you feel more awake, and your dog can even be a conversation started and help you interact with others while you’re out on your walk.
About The Author
April Kirkwood, LPC is a vetted therapist, published author, and TedX speaker providing innovative methods untiling Eastern and Western practices with researched based counseling theories. Her one of a kind content is creating a movement that wakes up others from their drab sleep state to a new awareness and vitality for seeing their story with joy and gratitude. She is an advocate for others who have been affected by early childhood exposing its effect on adult romance. Her philosophy and treatment is a refreshing blend identifying the mind, soul, and body connection through practices of awareness, awakening and play therapy. Her podcast, The April Kirkwood Show ‘Soulfully Yours’, is on Stitcher, Itunes, and SoundCloud, and Buzzsprout debuts July 2019. The inspirational handbook, The Guide to Living in the Now can be purchased at www.AYRIAL.com. Her memoir, Working My Way Back To Me, is an inspirational tale that sheds light on universal struggles involving love, sexuality, addiction, and mental health. April’s reckoning with an emotionally destructive relationship that harkens to her early childhood, and the women pushing and pulling behind her gives insight to others about their lives. It is a story in which April refuses to see herself as a victim but instead tries to summon the courage and resilience to reinvent herself. She works with TedX and her topic, The Brutal Reality of Believing Your Own Fake News shares how to break free from the lies we tell ourselves that create lives of that are unfulfilling.