How Does an ESA Help You Feel Better?

How Does an ESA Help You Feel Better?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve probably heard of emotional support animals, better known as ESAs, by now. These animals are proven to improve mental health, meaning that if you’re suffering from mental health issues they are the perfect choice to help you to feel better, sooner. But how exactly do ESAs help you to feel better, and heal you from your mental health struggles? 

how does an esa help you feel better

In this article, we look at exactly how these animals can assist you in your goal to improve your mental health, and why they are so effective in making you feel better sooner. Read on if you would like to find out exactly how ESAs make you feel better, and how you can get one into your life. 

The HumanAnimal Bond

If you’ve had pets before, then you’ve likely experienced the amazing effects of the human-animal bond, and how it can improve your life exponentially in a number of ways. Rather than being a simple figment of our imagination, the human-animal bond is actually a real thing, proven by science. The American Veteinary Medical Association defines this special bond in the following manner:

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and well-being of both. 

They AVMA also says that:

“The AVMA recognizes: (1) the existence of the human-animal bond and its importance to client and community health, (2) that the human-animal bond has existed for thousands of years, and (3) that the human-animal bond has major significance for veterinary medicine, because, as veterinary medicine serves society, it fulfills both human and animal needs.”

This statement is testament to the fact that while the human animal bond may seem trivial to some, it is, in fact, an important part of who we are as human. 

Effects of Pets on the Brain

So, the human animal bond is important and recognized by a major scientific and medical body. But how do pets connect with us so well, and what is it that make them just seem to ‘get’ us? 

You may or may not already know that far from having a placebo effect, pets can actually change the chemistry of the brain—putting us on the path to being happier and healthier naturally. The effects that pets have on our brains are remarkable with only the current research that has been undertaken, and in future years, it is certain that researchers will discover even more amazing benefits. 

So far, scientists have ascertained that pets have an amazing level of positive effect on our brains, and they have begun to isolate exactly why that is. Studies show that interacting with pets causes our brain to work in ways that can help us to improve our state of mind, naturally. 

When we spend time with our pets, they encourage our brains to boost the production of feel good chemicals which helps to re-balance our brains in a healthy way, assisting with good mental health. Pets have been shown to stimulate oxytocin which can help us to feel bonded and loved, improving our feelings of connection which can help to stave of loneliness, isolation and even depression. 

Another biochemical effect which pets have been responsible for is the lowering of cortisol in our bodies, which is a stress hormone which can contribute to mental illness, and even serious physical medical issues. Some hospitals have even taken to using animals in their heart wards in order to keep their patients with low cortisol levels, which in turn lowers blood pressure, leading to a reduction in heart problems for critically ill patients. 

Pets can even have effects as potent as drugs on our brains. Spending time with pets has been proven to lead to dopamine production in the brain, meaning that we receive a pleasurable boost in our brains, just from cuddling out pets. These are the same naturally occurring chemicals in our brains that drugs can stimulate, and hanging out with our pets is obviously a far healthier choice!

Psychological Effects of Pets

Another amazing advantage of pets is the psychological ways in which they can improve your mental health. Pets can improve the way we live our lives by having a range of effects on our psychological habits, often without us even noticing. 

Reduce Loneliness

The HumanAnimal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) says that having a pet can significantly reduce loneliness. This can have beneficial effects on us in reducing many mental illnesses, including depression, anxietyVeterinaryand other such afflictions. 

Increase Sense of Purpose

Pets are thought to fight against common symptoms of mental illness including loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed. Having a pet can increase your sense of purpose, making you more likely to engage in activities that you may not, if you were not responsible for a pet. 

Build Confidence 

One of the greatest advantages of having a pet in your life is the amazing way that they can build your confidence. Sometimes this happens without you even actively noticing that it’s going on! Many pet owners have reported that they have made new connections and friends due to their animal pals, which is a huge thing for those experiencing mental illness. If you are thinking about making your pet your ESA check out this great website which has a lot of information and even the option to get an ESA letter online (if you qualify).

DISCLOSURE – This is a collaborative post.

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