Having a pet or therapy animal can do wonders for your anxiety, especially in your aging years. A recent study explains how owning a pet can significantly improve your health and overall well-being. From calming anxiety to reducing stress and even easing symptoms of depression, there’s no denying that pets make a positive impact on our lives.
Nearly 18% of adults, as many as 40 million people, suffer from anxiety disorders every single year. While anxiety disorders can be treated and symptoms can be relieved, only 36.9% of adults experiencing anxiety seek appropriate treatment. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders usually result from a combination of factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Typical symptoms of anxiety may include restlessness, excessive worry, nervousness, rapid breathing, fatigue, trembling, sweating, and even an increased heart rate, which can lead to a panic attack. When it comes to easing these symptoms, pets can be extremely helpful. The simple act of petting or cuddling your dog can help calm you down in a matter of seconds, making you feel less anxious and tense. Through pet ownership, many people are effectively managing day-to-day anxiety without prescription medications.
While pet therapy in on the rise, always seek professional help when it comes to diagnosing and treating mental health issues including anxiety and depression.