How can having a pet improve your mental health?

I'm always looking for new ways to improve my mental health, whether that's through meditation, yoga or exercise, but recently I've discovered another way to help my anxieties...getting a pet. I've never really had a pet before but I've always been told how much they can enhance an individuals life, and now I understand.

Here's how a pet can improve your mental health-

1). You have a reason to get up every morning- Life can be really tough at times, especially with a mental health disorder, and some days it's hard to even get out of bed. But with a pet, you have a reason to get up, they need you. In fact, I love my mornings now, I eat my breakfast and have a coffee whilst my bunny eats his food, so cute.

2). It keeps you busy- I'm usually so good at keeping busy but with lockdown there's been so many times I have just sat and ruminated. Overthinking is so bad for you, but with a pet you have no time for that! They keep you busy, and when everyone's out the house, they are great company.

3). They decrease stress- Research has shown that petting an animal can relieve stress and even decrease blood pressure. Plus, it decreases stress in the animal too! More and more research shows the benefits of petting an animal.

4). A pet can help you to be more active- The best way to keep your mental health healthy, is to make sure your physical health is good too. Having an animal like a dog increases the amount of time you are outside and the amount of time you are exercising. If you struggle with motivation to get out and about, with a pet, you have a reason to. Plus being outside really benefits your mental health too!

5). A pet will love you unconditionally- As human beings, we often get hurt in life, whether that's through a heartbreak or the breakdown of a friendship. But as humans, all we want is to be loved...with a pet, this love will be unconditional.

6). You have someone to talk to- Admit it, you talk to yourself all the time, I know I do. Well now you have someone to talk to in your moments of madness. Sometimes we need a break from everyone...let your pet listen to you rant on instead. It's good to talk, whether that's to a loved one, yourself or your pet!

7). Watch them grow- I love the concept of having something that grow's, whilst you grow too! Whether that's a plant of or a pet, whilst you are growing as a person, watch them grow too. It's a beautiful thing in life.

I hope you enjoyed reading my reasons on why a pet is good for your mental health, whether you're considering getting one for you or your children, take these factors into account, but PLEASE remember, having a pet is a big responsibility and all factors should be taken into account. It's a great way to improve your mental health but also make sure you have the time and resources to look after your pet, as well as having a real desire for one.

Thanks so much for reading guys, keep smiling, keep happy and look after your little fluffy ones!

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