Your Pets Can Help You Cope with Stress During College
The fact that our pets, whether they are dogs, cats or even spiders, have a positive impact on us is not a secret these days. Studies show, that people who have a pet living with them tend to be more cheerful and calm throughout their daily routines. Dogs have already become an obligatory part of therapy targeting people with physical or mental disabilities, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Cats can often be met at mental hospitals, as long as small rodents like hamsters and rabbits do. And the reason for that is not only the fact that they are little and cute (which is nevertheless important), but because they have proved themselves to be major helpers for people dealing with stress.
And college students do, in fact, live in constant stress. Not only their education is the stress factor here, they also suffer from totally changing their social role. And, if their academic stress can be a little avoided by, for example, ordering assignments like short essays and, therefore, lessen the pressure they have on them. However, the situation with social stress is different, and here you have to get a little creative. Here is the point where getting a pet can be useful, even in a therapeutic sense. And here are the reasons why.
You do not feel alone
No matter what animal you have, a cat, a dog or whichever one you prefer more, it automatically becomes your companion. Just imagine coming home after a hard and emotional day, and there is some little one waiting for you. They can always listen to your problems and give you all the love they can in order to support you without even realizing that. Domestic animals have developed themselves throughout time to the point, where they basically understand human emotions and even language. You can basically notice how a devoted pet looks deep into your eyes, when you are talking to it — looks like it is trying to catch every single sound and tone change to do exactly what you want it to.
Other than that, owning a pet is especially beneficial for students who have difficulties with making friends (we all have been there at some point).
A topic for a small talk
Basically, it is what it sounds like. Whenever you are in public with your pet, or you have some new people coming to your house, be ready for the attention they will draw to your pet. Thus, they will have a lot to ask about it, and you will have a lot to tell them. It will obviously make the ice-breaking step of the conversation with someone you have never met before much easier for both sides.
Whether you want to admit it or not, a pet requires taking care of it. If you decided to have a dog as a pet, be ready to become a very active kind of person. Making this decision requires getting up early in the morning to go for a walk or a run with your pet, and also repeating the same process later in the evening (of course if you have not chosen a hunter dog — then you will have to add one more walk in the afternoon).
Another thing which is common for all kinds of pets is keeping them clean. You will implement a lot more movement to your life compared with people with no pets, as even cleaning a cage your hamster lives in requires time and movement. And cleaning your pet itself is also a whole deal. But, movement means the release of endorphins, which make you happier and a lot less stressed. Isn’t it the point?
Students’ mental health may benefit from interactions with animals. Numerous studies have found that college students suffer from a variety of mental health issues including stress, isolation, anxiety, and depression. People’s levels of the hormone oxytocin, which decreases anxiety and lowers blood pressure, triples when they have pets, according to research.
Also, for people suffering from anxiety (which has become a popular issue nowadays, unfortunately), getting a pet is literally a blessing. People who are apprehensive about stepping out into the world may find comfort and relief in the company of a pet. Pets, by virtue of their tendency to live in the present, may teach you to be more present-oriented and enjoy the delight of the moment.
At this point it should have become quite clear that having a pet is not only a pleasure, but also a great responsibility, and you have to adapt your daily routine to having one. It is something like even having a child — they need to be fed, walked, cleaned regularly. This brings a lot of difference to the routines you have. Whether you are sad, nervous, or upset, one glance from your pet will force you out of bed to feed, exercise, and take care of them. In other words, you have no time to be depressed, as you have a responsibility over another living creature, that fully depends on you.
The magic of a touch
Much scientific research have proven the fact that even petting furry animals has a therapeutic effect on a person. Stress may be rapidly managed by using techniques like touch. A bright example of such a method in therapy is Puppy Rooms, which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Although, even they are a subject of controversy, as some people consider them to be just an excuse students can use to avoid their classes.
However, studies prove, that even just a few minutes a day spent with a dog is beneficial to one’s mental and physical wellbeing. Pets have been found in studies to help with sadness, anxiety, and the stress hormone cortisol, as well as providing some genuine advantages for students. Playing with a puppy is the best way to relax before a major exam, in my opinion.
Barely anyone will argue the fact that universities are a major source of stress and pressure. For a brief respite from studying during finals season, several universities allow therapy dogs into libraries and dorms.
There are several reasons why college students may desire a pet. They’re depressed, lonely, or they miss the creatures in their lives. Or, perhaps, they’ve never had pets but have always desired them. However, before taking the plunge into pet ownership, students should consider if now is the ideal moment to add a furry member to their family.