When mental wellbeing is talked about, it is often misinterpreted by being “happy” in every circumstance. But in reality, mental wellbeing is associated with being able to function well in numerous circumstances, individually or in an association with someone. It basically refers to having the capacity and being able to cope with situations posing challenges.
State Of Mental Wellbeing Today
In today’s competitive world, humans tend to ignore their mental wellbeing because of various reasons, ranging from monetary gains to being socially accepted. With the increased competition, insecurity has emerged in multiple people due to their inability to achieve what they want. This issue needs to be addressed and checked. Mood swings are very common as they occur due to some petty issues or minor occurrences in our daily lives.
Negative feelings arise, but they go by easily. The problem occurs when those negative tend to get fixed in our minds resulting in inculcating harmful effects on our mental wellbeing.
Coping Up With The Pet Effect
There are various treatments, methods, etc., which people adopt to accept, amend, and get over with their issues. One of the most wholesome ways to do this, which has proved extremely successful, is adopting or buying pets. We live in a world that has been connected technologically but to fight with your mental health issues; nothing is connected to it.
Initial research has witnessed that when a person pets an animal of his/her choice, there is a series of differences we can see. Some of them are:
- Heart rate is slowed down.
- Muscle tension is relaxed.
- Blood pressure goes down.
- Breathing is normal and relaxed as well.
The human-animal bond has proved to successfully bring joy and a kind of a stress buster for many people who have been trapped in issues related to loneliness, anxiety, fear of abandonment, social isolation, etc. Living with a pet around you is a constant source of endless love, affection, and attention.
Human is a social animal and experiences thought of “feeling needy” “receiving attention” “feeling wanted” etc. When they have a pet to take care of, their thoughts are being fulfilled or being met. It generates a sense of purpose for them, adds meaning to their life. The way a family person takes care of his/her family develops a purpose for them to keep themselves healthy as well.
Similarly, if one lives alone, for example, the pet will create a purpose for him/her to survive, take care of everything around him and live along. When you perform things selflessly, it gives you a sense of happiness which reduces depression and takes you out of the feeling that “you can do good” or “you don’t have any purpose.”
This bond is proved to be helpful even scientifically. The interaction between the two results in the reduction of psychological stress indeed but also increases levels of “oxytocin” in the brain, also known as the “love hormone,” which plays a key role in establishing social bonds, attachments, bonding, recognition, etc. Pets are seen by their owners, who face mental health issues, as a source of social, emotional security and support.
Even the sensory act, which is stroking a pet, helps lower down a person’s blood pressure. We have seen it is a common practice that even strangers around you find it amusing to build a conversation with a person who has a pet with him/her. They help people take initiatives to build a chain of social networks and friendly bonds, hence taking them out of their persistent social isolation.
Animal Therapy And Pet Cafes
In various parts of the world, cafes have been opened which are pet friendly. Cafes, especially for dogs or cats, are quite prevalent. There are places solely dedicated to pet dogs, for instance, in several areas because of people euphoria. Therapy dogs are also trained for the same reason because many times, people don’t like to be known for taking up sessions by a psychiatrist; they experience more joy around pets.
The known jargon for this practice is “Animal Assisted Therapy.” Animal therapies help develop skills like problem-solving, paying attention to other’s needs, empathy, sense of responsibility, calming down the aggressive thoughts, and channeling it to better ways even in the worst cases related to problematic mental health patients.
It also keeps you in control, more mindfulness is developed and experienced, and you are more involved in physical activities. Many mental health benefits are also attached to being outdoors in that case. You have a maintained routine and hence can manage time well along with your work, and a good routine by the end makes you feel focused and gives you the mental power to control your day, inculcating higher self-esteem.
In conclusion, mental health needs to be addressed, and because every form of treatment is respected, be satisfied with what you choose. But one thing is for sure that the Pet Effect can never disappoint.