Research has shown that people struggling with depression have experienced depression relief from their pets. Pet therapy rehabs also provide additional support for people struggling with depression.
Besides, anyone who owns a pet understands the relationship that exists when a particular pet becomes part of their lives. Also, people consider their pets as members of their family and even spend expenses by ensuring the animals stay healthy.
Below are several ways people struggling with depression can get relief.
Pets Promote Touch
Several studies have proved the power of touch towards emotions, mood disorders, and depression relief. One research shows that a 45-minute massage can reduce the levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that optimizes the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count.
According to a study conducted by a University of Virginia, merely holding hands can decrease the stress-linked activity in the emotional center found in the hypothalamus section of the brain.
Therefore, a simple touch can prevent certain areas in the brain from reacting to threat clues. Based on this evidence, stroking a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, it boosts levels of neurotransmitter chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine involved in enhanced moods and provide depression relief.
Pets Offer Love and Companionship
If you get more depressed, you will often feel unlovable and lonely. You will also experience difficulties during social interactions at home or feel isolated. However, a domestic pet can offer unconditional love and companionship.
Pets help you feel less lonely and appreciated while they cuddle with you. Sometimes, pets are also remarkable since they provide friendship and reciprocate with your thoughts without judging you.
Pets Improve Your Responsibilities
A pet can improve your responsibility while you take care of them, which eventually promotes good mental health. Optimistic psychologists affirm that you build your self-esteem by being responsible for duty and by applying your skills to a job.
For instance, if you succeed taking care of your pet by ensuring it is alive every day, you strengthen your caring capabilities to yourself and another creature. Taking care of yourself will help encourages depression relief by learning skills of controlling and overcoming its symptoms.
Some Pets Provide Depression Relief by Making You Exercise More
Some pets, such as horses and dogs, need to perform regular exercise to stay healthy. Assisting them with proper training will also allow you to perform exercise together.
Regular exercise may provide depression relief by releasing feel-good endorphins that reduce its symptoms. These are brain chemicals that can improve your sense of well-being. Also, exercise frees your mind from constant negative thoughts associated with depression.
The Pet-Human Interaction Can Change You Physiologically
Oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” is released you cuddle or bond socially. Additionally, oxytocin levels increase in the brain if you have positive human-pet interactions, which reduce symptoms of depression and stress.
Final Thoughts on Pets for Depression Relief
Although there are additional ways pets offer depression relief, remember that it is not a substitute for depression treatment. However, some rehabs have pet therapy incorporated in their treatment programs, which come from professionally trained animals such as dogs. Therefore, ensure that you obtain enough medical support from a rehab center as part of your recovery process from depression.