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How Can Emotional Support Animals Help Boost Your Mood?

How Can Emotional Support Animals Help Boost Your Mood?

Keeping up with the world and how fast–paced it has become does take its toll on our energy levels and mindset. There are so many people in your life that expect so much from you – your parents, kids, spouse, etc. the world has become so dependent on standards, all of which are so hard to keep up with. With changing lifestyles, eating habits and medicals bills, there is no time to relax and take a minute to feel happiness and be thankful for the gift of life.

Stress can affect our lives in many different ways; it can be very hard to deal with and is often a gateway to depression. Depression and anxiety make it difficult to deal with the most normal things in life such as plane rides and leaving our house to go grocery shopping. This is where the emotional support animals come in. They are specially trained animals to help you get through life like a normal person.

People who experience crippling anxiety can find it difficult to move or think clearly during panic attacks and episodes, an emotional support animal ensures they do not do anything impulsive or endanger themselves in any way.

Animals in general, can help lighten the mood, just looking at these fuzz balls can bring over a sense of joy and calm. Schools and colleges in some states have made it a tradition to bring therapy animals or emotional support animals to their campuses before examinations to help students relieve some stress (Planning to bring one home? Here are five things students like you should know before doing so).

The good news is getting your canine companion a proper emotional support dog certification is easy and can be done online in less than 72 hours time.

If you are in need of a little mood-lift here is how our furry companions will help you:

Boost your self-esteem

They make us feel loved, as cheesy as this may sound, the sense of belonging is a psychological human need and emotional support animals will help fulfill it.  For them, you are the star of the show and looking at their unconditional love, you immediately feel better. Even the slightest actions such as running towards you or waging their tails can lift your mood. Studies show that people who have a pet depending on them generally feel a lot more responsible and have a higher self-esteem than those who do not. These studies were conducted on people suffering from anxiety.

You will make friends

Animals are often conversation starters and the calm nature of emotional support animals certainly does help with interacting and making new friends or getting people with the same situation as you in your life. Most people will come say hello to your dog when walking down the street or smile at you. The friendly nature of your dog can certainly get a few new friends into your circle, which is a great digression from a depressed an lonely state. Being around people and making new friends certainly help improve the state of your thoughts, consequently improving your mood.

Petting

Petting and cuddling with your pets will give you a sense of happiness. Studies show that it releases dopamine (feel good hormones) in our brains, giving a sense of satisfaction and calmness. Petting increases the production of oxytocin and serotonin in your body elevating your mood immediately. In people suffering from anxiety, their emotional support animals are trained to give them a hug or get close to them, which immediately shifts their mind from depressing thoughts to the affection filled demeanor of their pet.  Studies have also shown a reduction in the stress-causing hormone cortisol when the owners pet their dogs and cats.

Reduced loneliness and dependency

Depression, anxiety and stress can often lead to high dependency on either your family members or other people in your life. Having a pet will definitely reduce any such dependency and the best part is that they are not judgmental about your condition. They help reduce the feeling of loneliness and give you charge of your life which is sure to keep your spirits high. Make their stay in your home less stressful with these five golden tips!

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Karen Acuna
Karen is a contributing author to Puppy Smarts. A full-time animal behavioral therapist, Karen has 20+ years dealing with specialty animals of all kinds. Karen lives in Dallas, TX with her husband and 3 pups.

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