When the founder of Seek A Therapy was in the midst of his personal struggle and journey a new pet was bought.His parents, whom he lived with in recovery, decided to buy a dog for his younger sister. She had been wanting one for so long. 6 years in fact, when finally, my father gave in and bought a little Westland Terrier from the rural location of Wales. Not only is he a family pet but he became an integral part of John’s healing process from depression and anxiety. In this article he discusses reasons why a dog can help improve your mood and help transform your situation.
5 reasons why a dog can help improve your mood
Fun and lively nature
When depressed we tend to find things we used to enjoy difficult to pursue. Or finding motivation can be as difficult. A dog’s nature is rarely sad and always living for the moment. There is nothing they like more than to play ball, fetch, go for walks. They are the most sociable characters and have as much fun as possible whilst being carefree. This nature is infectious. You can’t help but smile at a happy dog even when you are feeling low or challenged.
They need you
Owning a pet is a big responsibility. They require you to care for them, feed them, walk them and clean them.
All these tasks require you to push yourself out of your feelings of sadness and depression to do what you can to ensure they are happy. You want to ensure they are getting the exercise and life that your dog deserves.
Having responsibility of an animal’s life can start changing your habits. They force change through in a gentle way and allow you to let go of things keeping you stuck and self-loathing. They help you to start seeing life a little different.
Loving unconditionally is something most humans struggle with unfortunately, tend to love with conditions in place. If you are family, if you are deemed good in the eyes of society, if there is some benefit to them for caring for you etc.
A dog asks for none of these things other than to be cared for in return and be a part of your life. This unconditional condition of a dog means they will always be there for you in times of need and why they are probably known as ‘man’s best friend’.
This breaks down the barriers to your anxiety and helps you realise social situations are not something to be feared. Most people are good by heart. Your dog will become your best friend and help put you back into situations that were once almost impossible for you.
Dogs need exercise
Exercise doesn’t just work on your physical body but it also helps your mind and brain too. Dogs need at least 1 walk a day and if you aren’t leaving the house much gives you a reason to get out and about.
Setting small routes and working to larger ones as you gain in confidence can help you overcome feelings of depression. Release endorphins in your brain improving your feeling of overall wellbeing.
Why a dog can help improve your mood
The above 5 points are only some of the reasons why a dog can transform your life. Deciding to own a dog is also a big commitment and can be costly as well. With vet fees, food and care you have to ensure you can afford to add one to your family.
Please take careful consideration of your financial situation. Ensure it is possible to add this new family member to your life.
If you feel you are ready it can be one of the best decisions you can make in your life.
Do you own a dog? Have they helped you improve your wellbeing? Please comment below