Perhaps you’ve been aware of the studies that show how pets reduce blood pressure and are good for your health, but an Israeli study done last year reveals that a positive relationship with your pet inspires confidence as well as lowering stress and its physical symptoms. These benefits only apply, however, if the animal is viewed favorably. If the animal is considered to be a nuisance; well, let’s just say you’d better find some love in your heart for your furry friends!
Participants were questioned about their relationship with their pet, which measured their emotional connection with the animal. They were then asked to list their personal goals for the future, and rate how likely they were to achieve each of them. The researchers found those who had a stronger attachment with their pet shared more goals, and expressed more confidence they would achieve them, than those who did not write about a favorable pet relationship. This effect was found whether or not the dog or cat was physically present in the room with them.
A second test also demonstrated that writing about one’s healthy emotional attachment to their pet sustained the subjects through a stress-inducing test. They were more calm and had lower blood pressure rates than participants who did not have strong attachments to their pets.
But Mom… a pet is good for my education!
This mirrors a recent survey done in the UK by Pets at Home where students felt smarter having a pet around. According to their survey, 79% of kids think that taking care of an animal helps them do better with their schoolwork. Moreover, the participants think that owning a pet teaches them responsibility, and keeps them happier and more calm, which helps them in the classroom. So if we look at the Israeli study, this idea may be based on more than just a feeling.
For more information, visit The Pacific Standard.
Photo courtesy of Rob (popofatticus.)
Have you noticed how your pet makes you feel more confident and calm?