Posts Tagged ‘pets’

This is the second part of my series on stress, you can read Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life – Part I here.

Eliminating all forms of stress from your life is not possible but what is possible is finding ways to relax and calm yourself. To fortify yourself against the stressors that come your way and to keep tension at a manageable level you need to find effective ways to cope. In part one we offered some help in this area and now in part two we offer more tips.

If you like to take walks for exercise then you are already doing a world of good for your mental health as well. Walking is an excellent stress buster because it quiets and calms the mind. If you are not a walker but yet you seem to have stress invading your life constantly then adding a 20 to 30 minute walk to your daily life can help you out tremendously when it comes to reducing anxiety and stress.

Walking in general is good even if it is done on an indoor or outdoor track but walking outdoors such as in a local park is even better. According to a recent study done in Japan walking outside, especially in a forest setting can be an excellent way to cope with chronic stress. There is something about nature, trees and streams that can benefit those who are consumed by stressful thoughts.

Having an animal for a companion or a few of them can help to relieve stress. In fact it is one of the many benefits of having a pet.

Whether you have a dog, cat, guinea pig, rabbit or bird he or she can help to reduce the stress you are feeling. Studies have connected owning a pet to having lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. One study had subjects watch 10 to 15 minutes of cute films about animals. Following the viewing the volunteers were found to have lower heart rates and blood pressure and found to be much less anxious.

Having a room with a view can help to turn stress upside down. Studies have shown that students who have seats near windows recover quicker from performing stressful tasks than do those who sit facing blank walls or even those looking at a  screen or picture of a nature scene. Next time you feel overcome with stress step away from your computer or take yourself away from the problem at hand and spend a little time glancing out the window.

This can also help to clear your mind, relax your body and bring your heart rate down to where it should be. If you do not have a window view from wherever you do most of your work then try to do something to change that. If you cannot then at least do some window gazing during your breaks.

Music is good for the soul. It can also lift your spirits and make your troubles seem thousands of miles away. When stress seems to be winning in your life listen to some relaxing music of your choosing. Everyone has different tastes in music. Listening to tunes that are mellow in nature can slow down your breathing and your heart rate and make you feel so much better. Find what suits your musical style and then listen to it to your heart’s content when stress is building in your life.

Let the music soothe your senses.


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Those who have pets can attest to the many benefits they bring to their lives. Animals are often prone to silly comical behavior that can elicit smiles and laughter from their owners.

If you are not a pet owner and you think of owning a pet as a lot of work you do not need then for the sake of your health you may want to reconsider. Many people believe that having a pet (or pets) to love and care for is beneficial to their health. Now science is beginning to lean in this direction as well.

Is there a relationship between animal companionship and improved health and emotional well-being in human beings? While the jury is still out on how therapeutic it is to share your life and home with a pet more and more people are becoming believers.

In 2008 the National Institutes of Health conducted some research to look closer at the relationship that exists between pets and health. Here we look at some of the surprising benefits that they discovered from their work:

One – Dogs help to prevent obesity:

A study that looked at 2,000 adults found that dog owners who walk their pets on a regular basis get more physical activity than those who do not have dogs and therefore are less likely to become overweight or obese. Those who love their dogs know that they need to be exercised so when the pet gets exercise so does the owner.

A similar study found that walking a dog leads to a greater level of mobility within a home.

Two – Heart attack victims benefit from having pets:

Researchers looked at 420 people who had suffered a heart attack the previous year. Some of the subjects owned dogs while others did not. They found that dog owners were more likely to be doing better and feeler better, regardless of how bad their heart attack was. Non-dog owners were found to be doing worse and some did not survive the year.

Three – Pets help to teach love, understanding and empathy:

It is not just adults who feel that their pets in part contribute to their emotional and psychological well-being. Children can be taught valuable life lessons by having pets in their lives. Animals can help children to develop empathy for others, as well as love. This can also provide a source of comfort when the child is feeling down.

Many children (and adults alike) talk to their pets when they are feeling sad, discouraged or upset.

Four – Pets keep people socially connected to each other:

Walking a dog will not only keep you trimmer but you are likely to come across other people on your walks and strike up conversations. Animals open the door to greater communication which helps to keep their owners more socially connected than those who do not have dogs to walk. This can lead to greater longevity and a lesser degree of physical and mental decline as you age.

None of these benefits have been proven for a certainty but those who own pets do not have to be convinced. Other studies have pointed to the fact that having pets can lower stress, fight depression, reduce health care costs and lower blood pressure.


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