How Pets Can Help Prevent Anxiety

How Pets Can Help Prevent Anxiety

Throughout the past few months, anxiety levels across the country and world have risen dramatically. Do I have a test tomorrow? Did that person cough near me? Do I have to eat lunch alone? These are just a few examples of the questions that race through our heads every day. However, there are ways to lessen this anxiety, and they are not all meditation and yoga. It has been proven that dogs, or pets in general, can improve one’s mental health by decreasing anxiety, depression, stress, and more. Having pets improves not only one’s mental health, but also even their cardiovascular health. During this challenging time, pets have been scientifically proven to be good companions that help us deal with our stress levels and lack of social life.

For example, people with pets take walks or hikes much more frequently than people without pets. Having a pet literally makes you get outside and walk more. Over the past few months, the once little annoying chore of walking your dog has now started to help people exercise more and, honestly, have more fun. When a person has a pet, they feel almost like parents and always put their pet’s needs first. This small act creates an enormous sense of community and partnership between man and beast. It is also proven that pets keep people grounded and make them have less anxiety solely because pets only live in the moment, which helps humans do so as well.

Surprisingly, pets can also help us socially. A lot of the time, when people go out, they see other family members or friends. However, during this difficult time, we haven’t been socializing as much. Although it might seem silly, pets keep their owner’s company and provide them with the love and attention that their owners are currently lacking. Many people also benefit from having a routine, something that a pet provides. Although it may be annoying to be woken up by your dog in the morning to let him out, it provides us with the structure we need to be productive, exercise, and not sleep all day long.

Here at Pine Crest, many students who have pets say that it improves their mental health. A freshman, Sophia Bordin, says that “petting my dog relieves stress, just her being there helps me relax.” Although many of us have pets already, this is a great chance to ask your parents for that particular dog or cat you have wanted for a long time!