Mentally Well with Animals

You come home after a long stressful day and sit on the couch. Zoning out before you suddenly feel the
softness of your dog’s head on your lap looking up at you. Your dog understands you’re feeling off today
and has taken time to try and comfort you. You look down and your dog starts to wag its tail because you notice them. We can all be mentally well with animals.

Studies have shown in the past that animals can reduce feelings of loneliness. Animals can help reduce
levels of cortisol (stress-related hormone). One of the most remarkable things pets can provide us is
unconditional love, especially dogs and cats. The benefit for a child having a pet is teaching them
responsibility and help them grow up more active and confident. It’s known that cats and dogs can help
reduce anxiety and depression.

It has been studied that individuals with pet companions have lower blood pressure in stressful situations.
When you are having a rough day try turning off the electronics and be present with your pet
companions. Being present with your pet can lift your mood and let you feel closer to that companion.

Janaye Godawa, LPC

Counselor at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center