Can Your Pet Help Your Depression?

counselor in Columbus, OHThere's just something about a dog at your feet or a cat in your lap that makes most people feel good. Maybe it's because they are happy to see you when you get home from work or the way they cuddle up and make you relax for just a few minutes more before the day starts. Whatever it is, pets add a little something extra to our lives. Researchers have found that people who have pets report feeling less lonely.

So how exactly does your pet help combat your depression? Keep reading to learn more. If you're searching for a dependable counselor in Columbus, OH, call Legacy!

  • They make you move. Your pup needs to go out. Your cat wants a treat. Even your iguana needs food. Pets get you up and make you active. This exercise releases endorphins that can help you beat the blues. Even a brisk 10-minute walk has been shown to provide a mood boost for up to two hours. Time to hit the dog park!
  • Physical connection. Petting or cuddling with your pet has been shown to have a naturally soothing effect. Petting a dog or cat has numerous health benefits including lowering heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels. There's a reason why therapy animals are used in hospitals and care facilities around the world.
  • Let's get social. A study conducted by the University of Warwick in Coventry, England found that strangers were more likely to engage with a person who was out walking their dog. Why? A pet is the ultimate ice breaker, and everyone loves to talk about their pets. Making a connection with someone new helps your brain release oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This hormone is tied to feelings of safety and acceptance and makes you feel good.
  • You're not alone. One of the biggest tricks depression plays on your mind is a sense of needing to isolate yourself. You can avoid going out with friends and family, but you can't avoid the wet nose in your face that wants to eat or needs to cuddle. For many people, this gentle reassurance is enough to help them through those difficult days.
  • Feed me, walk me, play with me. Your pet has a routine. They know their schedule and they like to stick to it. When you struggle with depression, a routine is a good thing. It's hard to ignore the scratching at the door to go out or the hungry pet at 6:00 am. Pets help keep you on track and focused.
  • All you need is love. Your pet loves you no matter what. That unconditional love is reassuring. While a relationship with your significant other or a coworker may be bringing you down, your pet is there to pick you back up. Animals allow us to just feel loved without worrying about motives or complicated emotions.
Top Rated Counselor in Columbus, OH For Depression- Legacy Freedom

While having a pet is not a substitute for depression treatment, it certainly can help you feel better day to day as you learn to manage your depression. If you are struggling to manage your depression, or someone you love is experiencing a significant depression, Legacy Freedom of Columbus can help. Our expert staff is highly trained in treating depression and can help you or a loved one learn to cope.

We utilize a holistic approach to mental health care and put you at the center of the treatment plan, not your depression. By treating the whole person, body, mind and spirit, we help you heal from all aspects of your mental illness. Traditional talk therapy helps you get to the root of your depression while alternative therapies like inner child work, yoga or equine therapy help you learn new coping mechanisms and help you establish healthy boundaries. Nutrition and physical health play an important role in your mental health. Together with our physical therapist and dietician you will learn how to care for your body and nourish it to help your whole body heal.

Stop letting depression control your life. Call Legacy Freedom today to speak with a counselor in Columbus, OH you can trust!

 

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