Pets can help you feel better mentally.
Pets, whether furry, feathered, or scaly, enrich our lives in so many ways. They're there to welcome us home, snuggle with us when we're in need of some tender loving care, and provide devoted company. While we all know how our pets can make us happy, licensed psychologist Anna Maria Tosco, popularly known as our blogger the Sassy Psychologist, claims that there is science behind the happiness boost that our loyal companions provide.
In traditional depression treatment, you must organize activities that will give you mastery and joy, she explained.
These two elements are critical in assisting people in coping with feelings of grief, loneliness, and hopelessness, and pets can assist us in achieving both. Having a pet allows you to engage in certain responsibilities - you have to take care of them, Tosco explained. This might allow for emotions of mastery, like I'm doing something nice.
People often overlook the good that can come from engaging activities, such as those linked with caring for a pet, when it comes to bringing joy, she continued.
Because they are fully reliant on you, keeping an animal can help you find meaning in your life. They also demonstrate that you can be responsible and care for another living being. It also establishes a consistent schedule for you to follow and motivates you to be productive. All of this leads to more self-assurance and, as a result, greater overall happiness.
Depression is linked to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, and having a pet can give you a sense of strength and control over your actions, Tosco explained. The helpless and hopeless are handled with empowerment, and feelings of choice are used to combat them.
So go hug your dog, cat, or even hamster, and if you don't have a pet, think about adopting one from a shelter. You'll not only improve their lives, but you'll also add something special to your own. You've earned it. It's not just about making you happy; it's about what's going on beneath the skin, she explained. "There are hormones generated that facilitate good emotions, and anything that provides us pleasure, such as getting a pet, facilitates positive emotions." The more you engage in pleasurable activities, the more your brain and body become accustomed to them, and your body will begin to manufacture those chemicals more readily over time, reducing depression.
In other words, the joy you get from a pet might become a habit, causing your brain to stay in "happy mode" for longer.