How do Dogs Reduce Anxiety For their Humans?

How Dogs Help Reduce Anxiety in PeopleIf you are a pet owner, then you know that there are many obvious benefits to having a dog. Dogs are joyful, loyal, protecting and give people so much love and affection. They can make us humans healthier and happier, feel safer, and more comforted. There are many mental challenges that we as humans experience, even on a daily basis. Sometimes just simple sadness, while other times it can be something truly debilitating like panic or anxiety. Amazingly enough there are ways dogs can help with this. So how do dogs reduce anxiety in people? The answer is a lengthy but worthwhile to understand.

Seeing your dog greet you and wag its tail can be enough to brighten up your day. In fact, dogs have a more significant effect on people than most people realize. Just being near your pet can affect your emotional and mental state.

In addition to being a great best friend, dogs can help humans with stress, anxiety, depression, and more. They are commonly used as therapy and emotional support animals for this reason. Studies have shown that looking into your dog’s eyes causes a release of oxytocin for both you and the dog. This is the hormone that makes you feel good. Read on to learn everything about how dogs reduce anxiety.

Cuddling with Dogs Has Health Benefits

Cuddling with your dog stimulates your brain to produce oxytocin, which is the hormone released during childbirth. Oxytocin reduces cortisol production, which is a stress hormone that leads to weight gain and other problems.

Also, cuddling with your pet has been found to reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate. In addition, oxytocin has been found to stimulate muscle regeneration.

Most importantly, oxytocin is the hormone that makes you feel good. It brings out a desire to be kind to other people, and it is associated with feelings of trust and empathy, which helps with bond forming. This all helps to reduce your anxiety.

Cuddling with your dog also causes your brain to release dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that make you feel happier. When you hold and pet your dog, it makes you feel calmer and lets you forget about the things that are causing anxiety.

Cuddling is one way that dogs reduce anxiety, and people feel happier when they engage in it. You will always have someone home with you, so you will never feel alone. When your dog jumps up on the couch to snuggle with you, you might just feel better immediately – if you are ok with them on the couch ;).

Dogs Give You Unconditional Love

One of the most fantastic qualities of dogs is that they give unconditional love. They don’t care what you look like or how successful you are in life; they simply want to be near you and spend time with you.

Having a four-legged friend who loves you so unconditionally can make you feel loved and needed. This feeling of being loved and wanting love is an emotion deeply rooted in humans. The fact that pets can satisfy this emotion is one way they help combat loneliness and make us feel better overall.

When you come home, your dog most likely greets you. It might dance around while it waits for you to take it outside or give you affectionate dog licks and kisses. No matter what you are worried about or how bad you feel, one look at your canine buddy can take it all away.

Dogs and people have a unique bond that goes back to ancient times. The raw unconditional love creates good feelings and lets you know that you have value just because you exist. Having these kinds of feelings can help to ease the burden of anxiety and life in general.

Dogs Get You up and Moving

Often, anxiety is accompanied by some degree of depression. It can make you feel like you can’t get up off the sofa or even get out of the house. Anxiety can be debilitating, and no matter how much you want to get up and find some motivation, it becomes very challenging.

It is true that getting up and doing something will help to alleviate depression and anxiety. It will help a great deal. When you have a dog, you will have to get up and take it outside for a walk, and this is the catalyst that can make you feel better.

Part of the difficulty with depression and anxiety is getting stuck and losing motivation, but dogs will help you get through it. When you take your dog out for a walk, it will get your blood circulating, and you will feel better. Knowing that your dog relies on you can be just the catalyst you need to feel good enough to go about your day.

How do Dogs Reduce Anxiety with their Simple Relationship?

Relationships with humans can be complicated. Even when your family members are trying to help, they can say the wrong thing or make you feel worse. Sometimes unsolicited advice, even when it is well-intended, can serve to create more anxiety.

Dogs don’t get involved in all of that. You will have a simple yet strong bond with your dog, where you don’t feel like you have to pretend. Your relationship with your dog is based on mutual love and understanding, and you can’t hide how you feel.

Your dog will never judge you; it just wants you to feel happy, and they will go out of their way to cheer you up. No matter how anxious or sad you are feeling, a particular look from your dog can make you feel better.

There is a particularly symbiotic relationship between humans and dogs where love is unconditional and straightforward. You never need to worry about whether your dog loves you or not. Having this kind of relationship can reduce your anxiety.

Dogs Get You to Exercise

Exercise is a crucial component of mental health. You need to exercise every day to release stress and worry. When you are feeling anxious or depressed, it can be difficult to talk yourself into it. Why get on that treadmill or go to the gym. With your four legged friend, you can exercise by running around in the yard with your dog.

You can also go on long calming walks. Maybe you can find a place to take your dog for a hike in nature, and you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Nothing better than enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views with your best bud.

Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, which is known to make you feel better and keep your emotions stable. Also, it makes you healthier. It is much easier to commit to daily exercise when you have a dog in your house.

Your Dog Will Help You Meet New People

Meeting new people can help reduce anxiety. Sometimes the excitement over making a new friend who has common interests can make you feel good about life. When you are out walking your dog, you will meet other people who have dogs. You have something in common right off the bat.

If you meet enough people, you are bound to meet someone who becomes a more permanent friend. It is always good to have a common starting point, and your shared love of dogs is there from the beginning. Meeting new people can be a catalyst for relieving anxiety.

Dogs Provide Structure in Your Life

Frequently, people who are suffering from anxiety have difficulty following a schedule. On days off from work, they may sleep in and wear pajamas all day. While this can be fun once in a while, it is unhealthy to fall into this habit for long periods of time.

When you have a dog, you will have more structure in your life on a daily basis. You need to take care of the dog, which involves feeding your dog and taking it outside for a walk. Having this responsibility is positive because it gives you purpose. You will be caring for an adorable living being that loves you and needs you.

The structure that is necessary when you have a dog can help with your anxiety. It will help you stay in a routine. You will always have a reason to get up in the morning, and you will feel good when you see how happy your dog is for any interactions you have.

Service Dogs for Severe Anxiety

Sometimes anxiety is so debilitating that people can benefit greatly from a service dog. Not only does the dog provide all of the benefits listed above, but they can be trained to help with anxiety.

Dogs can be trained to help people who get panic attacks. If you take anti-anxiety medication for this condition, your dog can be trained to recognize that it is coming on and interact with you as a warning. It can also be trained to go get your phone.

Dogs are trained in many ways to help with all different aspects of anxiety, and they can be very beneficial. Trained service dogs and emotional support dogs are allowed in all public places, so you can always have your dog with you in case you need help.

Final Words

Dogs are truly miracle healers and can provide life changing comfort and ease. Understanding how dogs reduce anxiety in people may make you want to get a dog if you don’t have one. They can be trained to help you with severe anxiety by providing emotional support or even sense when an attack might be coming on.

In addition, just having a dog can reduce stress because you will experience that true unconditional love only a dog can provide. Cuddling and interacting with your dog leads to the release of oxytocin and other hormones that make you feel good.

When you have a dog, you will have a best friend in your home. You will also have a living being to nurture and care for, which can give you a sense of purpose. You will get more exercise, which also helps to relieve anxiety. No matter how hard it is, you will have a reason to get up and get going.

Having a dog will bring pleasure to your daily life, which can help to reduce anxiety. Your dog will always want to cuddle with you, and it will listen without telling you what to do. Besides, dogs provide a great distraction from the problems you may be going through. Having a dog can make everything better in your world, even when things don’t make much sense.

Sources:

  • https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/open-gently/201910/your-dog-can-help-your-anxiety
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms5082

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