When you are experiencing a mental health crisis, it can often feel as though you are completely alone in your struggles. Since the nature of most mental health conditions is that symptoms, causes, and one’s overall perspective on the situation can be unique to the individual, it can be incredibly difficult to make even your closest friends and relations understand what you are going through.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your struggles with your mental health. Some people have been where you are and who have learned how to cope with their condition and lead a full, happy life. However, if you aren’t ready to turn to such individuals for support, you might have the love and understanding that you need at this moment from your pet.
Many people attest to the fact that a pet can be a great help during a mental health crisis. Here are six ways in which your furry friend can support your mental health.
1. In Moments of Anxiety
Anyone who has ever experienced an anxiety or panic attack will know just how physically and mentally uncomfortable and even painful they can be. While there is a difference between a panic attack vs anxiety attack, they both come with their own set of symptoms. Since pets are very in-tune with stress and anxiety levels, your furry friend will likely be right by your side when such an attack occurs, offering you comfort and support.
2. Keeping Stress Down
A relationship with a pet is unique and special. They are always there when you need them the most, and that reliability is something that can greatly reduce your stress and anxiety. Knowing that they will be there for you at the end of the day offers consistency in your life that you can count on.
3. Encouraging Physical Activity
There is an undeniable link between physical activity and one’s mental health. Having a pet is a great way to make sure that you get the daily physical activity that you need. From walking the dog to playing with your cat, moving and staying active is an important part of maintaining your mental health.
4. Giving You a Routine
When you are struggling with your mental health, having a consistent daily routine can be a major help. It allows you to know more or less what to expect from your day, thus reducing stress levels from dealing with the unexpected. With a pet at home, you will have the sort of structure to your day that can help with stress.
One of the main reasons why people get pets in the first place is out of a wish for companionship. Having the presence of a pet in your home can ease feelings of loneliness and allow you to share your life with someone.
6. Boost Your Mood
When you get home and your pet greets you at the door, you experience a positive boost to your mood that can make you feel drastically better. The love that you get from your pet can make being at home a truly positive experience even when you struggle with your mental health.