What is animal assisted therapy used for. Not only adorable but having a pet is also useful for maintaining mental health, you know! Besides being able to reduce stress, the benefits can increase motivation in life.
Many say that pets can help maintain their owner’s mental health. Is that true? Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with Cats Protection in 2011, has the answer. The study involved more than 600 respondents who owned cats and not cat owners, with half having mental health problems.
As a result, 87 percent of respondents who own a cat feel it has a positive impact on their well-being. Meanwhile, 76 percent said they could live their daily lives better thanks to the company of their feline friends. A third of respondents also said that petting a cat is a relaxing activity.
Benefits of Owning a Pet for Mental Health
What is animal assisted therapy used for? Pets can be good friends. They are also good for mental health. Here are the benefits that can be obtained, if you have a pet:
1. Reduce Stress
Pets petting can relieve stress, it can even lower blood pressure. For some people, seeing fish swimming in an aquarium can also help reduce stress and relax them.
2. Gaining “Friendship”
Pets can be loving, accepting, loyal, honest, and consistent. If you are feeling lonely and need support, a pet can help.
3. Meets Human Needs to Be Touched
Most people feel better when they have physical contact with other people. If it’s not possible to have physical contact with the closest person, you can pet your pet, and get a similar sensation.
4. Increase Life Motivation
Most pets need a routine of feeding, cleaning, and exercise. It can give you more purpose and motivation in life, which can help with self-esteem, well-being, and mental health.
If you are experiencing stress or depression, a pet can make you feel less alone and make you feel responsible for taking care of it.
5. Increase Social Interaction
Pets create opportunities for better social interaction, especially if you join an animal club or attend a pet show. Going to pet owner gatherings, the beach, or the park also helps increase social networks.
You can also make new friends just by walking your dog or waiting at the vet, for example.
Because a shared interest in pets helps you connect with other people.
6. Increase Fitness (Especially Dog Owners)
If you have dogs, they need regular walks, and this exercise is good for you too. Exercise, like walking, has many benefits for mental health and happiness.
You can also use time walking your dog to improve your fitness and take advantage of outdoor activities to help you develop more mindfulness and relaxation.
If you are afraid of social situations or have a social phobia, pets can help slowly introduce you to other people who also have pets and improve your mental health.
Those are some of the benefits of having a pet for mental health. If you think you have a mental health disorder, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.