What Is The ‘Pet Effect’ and How Can It Help?
Within the last few years, it is increasingly common to see different animals going through a work day, just like us. From detecting an oncoming seizure for your neighbor with epilepsy, or assisting a detective with forensics, it’s no secret that these service animals are something special. As the conversation surrounding mental health is beginning to turn, we’ve been noticing that there are more household pets accompanying people throughout their day, providing emotional support to their owners.
Your mental health and if an emotional support animal (ESA) is right for you
Every year, scientists are seeing a correlation between strong mental and physical health, and pet owners. The Pet Effect says that there is more than just love and loyalty between us. There is a large effect on human physiology, contributing to strong heart health and easing anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
In 2016, a study explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long-term mental health problem; finding that pets contributed to individuals developing routines that provided emotional and social support.
How could the “pet effect” help you in your situation?
Studies have shown that staying present in the moment can have a large impact on your mental health. It helps you to let go of the past, and not dwell on things to come. Having to establish a routine, and to be physically touching someone else can help to keep your feet on the ground, so to speak.
A 2011 study shows that pets are able to benefit the lives of their owners by serving as an important source of emotional support. If you’re one of the 12% of adult Americans that struggle with social anxiety, having a pet to accumulate you to social interaction can dramatically improve your outlook on day to day human interaction. Those that have pets are shown to be more outgoing in social situations, have less anxiety and not feel the sting of rejection as strongly as those without a pet; decreasing overall feelings of loneliness.
Having a pet by you creates a kind, loving environment that serves as a buffer when it comes to psychological responses to stress. One study measured the behavioral stress response in individuals with high-stress professions finding that there was an improvement of immune system functioning, pain management, and even increased love and trust toward others.
If you find yourself battling PTSD, anxiety or depression- an ESA might be the next step toward a better day to day life for you. We believe that with the right tools and help, you can overcome anything. If you or someone you love could benefit with talking to a member of our team, give us a call today.