How Can Pets Help with Stress?
Hi Ultra Oil fam! My name is Brandon and I have had the opportunity of working with Tony and the Ultra Oil team off and on for over a decade!! Luna is my dog and we have had a solid 3 years of great connection. She is a certified emotional support animal and goes with me to the groups I run as a trauma therapist to help people work through big issues. Luna’s intuition has helped me guide clients through intense levels of process work as well helping individuals feel their deepest emotions. We all have our rough days, and on my rough days, Luna has personally helped me (more times than I can count) to hold on to myself and not feel so alone in this big world.
Studies have found that petting an animal can significantly decrease cortisol, a major stress hormone and increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone, oxytocin. These hormonal changes can help so many people in a ton of different ways! A nervous child may feel more relaxed about reading aloud after playing with their puppy. Or an adult can feel calmer and in control during a stressful situation. All of this reduced stress is majorly beneficial for a person’s physical health as well!
Sometimes I wonder why when I feel like I want to be alone and away from people, I let my dog Luna stay with me. I catch myself thinking, “Animals are OK to stay... humans get away!” I honestly think it’s because whenever I’m with Luna, I feel completely at ease to express whatever emotion I am holding onto without being judged. My dog sees the “good” in me no matter what... and I’m constantly reminded of J.W. Stephens’ quote, “Be the person your dog thinks you are!” What a blessing right? We all know how hard it is to see our own positive traits and our animals help us with that.
When I look back and realize the huge impact my dog has had on me during stressful times, it makes me want to reciprocate the love back to her. I always try my hardest to understand her and what she needs to feel ok.
We hold a close and powerful bond to our animals, and I am thankful to have Luna in my life to help me deal with everyday stressors. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or have anxiety, spend a few minutes (or hours!) playing and holding your animal. If you don’t have one, ask a friend if you can pet sit or volunteer at a local pet shelter! Trust me, it will do wonders for your health. 😉