Connections with animals are special and important relationships for many people. Doctors have realized that emotional support animals can be an effective way to fight against mental health problems. One of the most well-known psychoanalysts, Sigmund Freud, used his pet in therapy sessions because he knew pets are good for mental health. Here are a few of the ways pets provide emotional support.
- Ease Loneliness When you’re struggling with a mental health condition that causes anxiety, depression, or emotional instability, it can isolate you from other people. While your friends and family members might not understand what you’re going through, pets offer consistent reassurance and companionship. They don’t get their feelings hurt when you’re having a bad day. You don’t have to be careful with what words you use when you communicate with them. They’re just always there to provide comfort.
- Relationship-Building Pets are people magnets. While it may be difficult for you to reach out to others, your pet will bring them to you. Many people who wouldn’t talk to you if you were alone will ask questions if you have an animal at the park, walking down the street, or in an elevator.
- Improved Health According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pets provide the following health benefits:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol
- Decreased triglycerides
- Increased levels of exercise
An emotional service animal doesn’t just make you feel better emotionally – it can improve your physical health.
- Lowered Stress When you’re stressed, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol creates learning and memory difficulties, impacts your immune system, and raises your risk of heart disease. It also influences mental illness.
Elevated cortisol makes you more likely to be depressed and anxious. In other words, when you’re depressed or anxious, your body releases hormones that may make you even more stressed. An emotional support animal can help you break the cycle.When you connect with your pet, it helps you feel calm. As you hold or pet your ESA, your body releases endorphins that cause you to feel pleasure and the bonding hormone oxytocin that makes you more resistant to stress. Your blood pressure and cortisol drop accordingly.
- Help in Challenging Situations When you move to a new home or apartment, everything about your surroundings changes. It’s an adjustment for everyone, especially people who are already coping with an emotional issue. An ESA gives you a sense of familiarity. While you’re getting settled in, your pet is the same friend they’ve always been, reducing your uneasiness.
When you travel, your pet can travel with you. They rely on you to get them to your destination and provide dependable support along the way. When flight schedules change, and you have to stand in long lines or your baggage takes a long time to arrive, they distract you from your worries and help you stay positive. They make it easier to communicate with others and even lessen boredom.
If you’re wondering whether or not you qualify for an emotional support animal, visit the nation’s leading source of information. Contact Touch ESA today.