Dogs are your born therapist without you knowing it. They are supporting you emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically. If you are a dog-owner, you must be an emotionally intelligent, disciplined, happy and content person. You may have gone through times of loneliness, stress, anxiety or depression, but only for a few moments until the pet entered the room.
Talking of loneliness, it has been estimated that even young person feels lonely at least once a week. Loneliness leads to negative thinking and isolation of people. It causes stress, anxiety and, then, ultimately depression. This may lead to destructive and suicidal thoughts. Wouldn’t you like to live a saner, stable and content life?
Moreover, loneliness increases the risk of blood pressure, dementia, and cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that dogs help in the reduction of blood pressure and anxiety.
Here raises the question of ‘can dogs, the silent companions, able to reduce loneliness?’ Yes, they can. Here are a few ways dogs can help you fight loneliness:
- Living in the Moment:
Dogs are curious, hyperactive, and happy companions that have a toddlers level mindset. Have you noticed your dog exploring new places and appreciating every moment fully? They also teach their human companions to enjoy life to the utmost. The lonely and introvert owners learn to see the beauty around them wherever they go with the pooch. Such happy thoughts counter loneliness.
- Greater Social Interactions:
Dogs create lots of opportunities for their owners to interact and socialize more often. They not only have to mix with the dog-specialists but also with other dog owners. They can find like-minded people at dog-parks, doga sessions, dog shows, and breed clubs. They may make friends during the regular dog walk.
A study published in Anthrozoös reveals that dog-owners and non-dog-owners have an equal chance to suffer from loneliness. But, they mention that dog-owners having ‘human social support’ are at a lower risk of suffering from loneliness.
- The Feeling of Being Loved and Needed:
Lonely people are in dire need of love, care, and companionship. They like to care for others and feel needed.
Cuddling dogs will increase the release of oxytocins and decrease the release of cortisol. Therefore, the stress levels stay in control.
Moreover, dog-owners have to fulfill the daily needs of their pooch. This makes them feel needed and important for another living being in life. It generates a feeling of love and happiness in dog-owners. They also have to stay engaged in removal of pet hair, stains, odors, etc from the house that prevents negative thoughts and loneliness.
- Uncritical Support for Emotional Expressions:
Introverts and lonely dog-owners enjoy the uncritical and non-judgmental support their dog provides them in times of grief. Emotional outbursts and moody expressions are important for people to give an outlet to their pent-up negative feelings.
With dogs, you can talk about anything and they will silently listen to you. Sometimes, you may behave rudely or harshly with the poor pet, but they understand you better. They will return to get your love and attention in a while again. Cuddle them, enjoy the feel of happy hormones and relax!
- Great Companionship:
Pets offer an amazing companionship, which results in an improved physical and mental health of pet-owners. Around 60 percent of UK-based single people get pets to accompany them.
Dogs are the best pets that will accompany you for walks, doga, exercise, and play time. They do not have much mood swings as people do and neither do they remember past insults for life. Simply give them some more love and care afterward.
As the dog increases the opportunities for you to meet more people to socialize, you may find some good companions for long walks, adventures, indoor and outdoor activities. They will provide you enough support in tough times and help you solve your problems better. People can offer some good opinions on a lot of things we are engaged in. After all, at the end of the day, we all need a good company to talk to and share.
- Increased Physical Activity:
Dogs are a great motivation for owners to stick to their active routine. Even if it’s the hardest thing to get out of bed at 6 am, your dog will wake you up for a jog if you have made his routine.
Physical activities increase the blood circulation in the body and improve the cardiovascular health. Exercise regulates the release of hormones that are responsible for our emotional reactions. It creates a balance in the emotions.
All in all, dogs do help us fight loneliness and socialize more often. They help us to manage our emotions in a better way. They prevent us from developing many diseases that are associated with loneliness. They are a great panacea for our psychological and physical well being.