Most people love animals and either own pets or wish they had at least one little furry buddy. Pets are some of the most genuine and cute beings alive, so it’s easy to understand why they can steal our hearts in seconds. Interacting with your furry friends can increase your positive thinking and overall positivity in life, confirm psychologists.
Of course, pet owners know how much they can improve someone’s mood. Each time you get home, they are waiting for you, and you can see how excited they are to see you. The connection you can create with a pet is genuine and wholesome, and you can feel that. So, after a demanding day at work, feeling the love your pet has for you is the best thing you could ask for.
And they don’t ask for anything in return. Your furry friends love you unconditionally and they will always be there to cheer you up when you are going through something. But pets aren’t just good companions who can lift your spirits for a moment. They can completely change who you are as a person. Having pets has been shown to increase positive thinking. By hanging out with your pet for a couple of hours a day, you will become generally increase positivity.
How Pets Increase Positive Thinking
It seems logical that pets would make you happier. But how exactly can they change the way you think? Well, psychology can explain the link between pets and positive thinking.
1. Pets Change Your Mood to a Place of Positivity
Pets don’t just make you happy by being adorable for a moment. The change in mood that they cause isn’t temporary. It’s permanent, as playing with a pet has been shown to create changes in the hormones your body releases. Playing with an animal has been proven to increase oxytocin and decrease cortisol.
Thus, your stress levels will inevitably go down. This is the reason why pet therapy can be so effective. Because there’s a clear biological link between being around an animal and a decrease in stress, people with depression or anxiety have something to gain by being around pets. Studies explain the effectiveness of pets as therapy. They also showed that playing with an animal is tied to decreased heart rate and blood pressure. This is because oxytocin, besides inhibiting the release of stress hormones, also plays a role in the cardio-respiratory system.
It slows someone’s breathing rhythm and heart rate, thus reducing blood pressure. Oxytocin can help the body heal, either physically or psychologically, whenever it needs to. For example, it allows the body to create new cells, making people’s bodies healthier. Because of this, oxytocin makes people feel generally happy. This happiness, coupled with lower depression and anxiety levels, promotes positive thinking.
2. Pets Help You Socialize
This isn’t the case with all pet owners. For example, if you own a snake, you don’t have to walk it. But most pet owners know that their pets are a great conversation starter. This is especially true if you own a dog you must walk daily. And this is something all dog owners can attest to. Whenever someone walks their dog, at least one person will come up to them and ask something about the dog.
Pets dogs can help you socialize and create new friends and encourage positivity in the community. For example, if you just moved into a new neighborhood, simply taking your dog on walks will help you meet all your neighbors. A survey shows that pet owners are 60% more likely to meet their neighbors than non-pet owners. But some studies show that even owning other pets, like a cat, a rabbit, or even a snake, can help you socialize. That’s because having a pet can be a great conversation starter. This is especially true if you have an uncommon animal. People will be curious to hear about a snake if you have a snake. Or, if you are traveling with your cat, people will inevitably come up to you and ask you about the cat.
There are many cases where owning an animal can open new doors and help you meet new people. As everyone knows, isolation has disastrous effects on someone’s mental health. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and even physical issues. But the socialization you can engage in because of your pet will help you avoid those issues. And you don’t just avoid being alone. You can even create a solid social circle, which will help you become a happier person.
So, having a pet who can help you socialize can help you increase positive thinking.
3. Having a Pet Boosts Your Self-Esteem, Thus Boosting Positive Thinking
Owning a pet has been shown to boost your self-esteem and improve how you see yourself. This is especially true for people who have owned pets since they were children or teenagers, but it can also happen for adults. This seems to be the case because kids don’t worry as much about how other people view them when they have a pet. If they have these thoughts, they’ll fade as soon as they see their pet.
Because they have that companion who will never leave them, they don’t have to worry about popularity. Even if their peers don’t accept them, they’ll still have someone who does and who loves them unconditionally. And, since childhood is when someone’s behavior is shaped, this child or teenager will have a healthier development. The outcomes of this development will always be positive.
But improvements in self-esteem can be seen in adults too. The changes won’t occur as quickly, but your behavior will see some difference. Again, having that companion will make you feel better about yourself. You won’t worry as much about how others view you, which will improve your mental health. And it’s important to note that a person with higher self-esteem will tend to be more positive and engage in positive thinking.
4. Having a Pet Helps You Be More Mindful
Psychologists say that mindfulness is based on attention, intention, compassion, and awareness. Thus, a person cannot be mindful if they don’t know how to empathize with others or even pay attention to what their body is telling them. Being mindful is about being aware of your feelings and needs and others’ feelings and needs.
Mindfulness is an excellent trait to have because it improves both your physical and psychological health. When people think of mindfulness, their mind immediately goes to meditation. While meditation is an essential tool for becoming more mindful, it’s not the only tool. You can’t learn to be more compassionate by simply meditating. But you can understand it by having to care for another being.
So, having a pet is one of the best ways to become more compassionate. This being is dependent on you to provide them with food and shelter. Simply knowing that their life is in your hand will make you empathize more and be more attentive. As you might know, mindfulness is one of the best ways to become more positive.
Once you become aware of your needs, as well as others, you will be more likely to cherish what you have and engage in positive thinking. Along with these benefits, your life will respond with positivity as your mental and physical health improve.
5. Caring for a Pet Adds Structure to Your Life
Having structure is one of the essential things in someone’s life. It can help you manage your tasks better, thus lowering your stress levels. But that’s not the only advantage. Routine and structure will give you a guideline for how your days should look. When you know what you need to do and where to aim, you are more likely to see things in a positive light. But it can sometimes be hard to create that structure.
Most times, people don’t want to schedule every minute of their life or walk around with a planner in their bag. But that’s the beauty of owning a pet. They add structure to your life organically, and they change your thinking patterns such that they become natural. When you have a pet, you need to care for them every day. You need to feed them, clean their living environment and make sure they exercise. In time, all these tasks will become structured routine. You will always provide them at the same time. You will regularly clean their tanks, cages, or beds and walk your dog every day at the same time.
This routine is often very calming. You don’t need to worry about what you’ll do with your day. You’ll already have a plan that you can stick to no matter what. This way of planning and making routines will expand in all areas of your life. As you become a more structured person, you will find that you’ll engage in positive thinking more often. Your stress levels will decrease, and you will always find comfort in your routine. Instead of stressing out about some minor inconvenience, you will look forward to getting home and feeding your pet.
Final Thoughts on How Pets Increase Positive Thinking
Having a pet is a beautiful experience. They bring joy into your life on even the darkest days. They are always full of positivity and excitement. Because of how joyous a pet always is, it’s hard not to have positive thoughts around them.