NATURE’S PRESCRIPTION FOR STRESS: PETS
Don’t just talk to the animals; listen!
By Allie Katz
You can’t fool old Allie; I can see into your mind, and some of you are thinking, “Yeah, right! I’ve had a rotten day at work and come home only to have to walk the damn dog,” or “Cat, if you’ve been sleeping on my recliner again, I’ll know it, and will kill you in twenty places!” If I’ve just described you, you desperately need to CHILL OUT! You’re not taking full advantage of your little “clinically proven” stress reliever.
If you’ve ever had a day at work where you felt like going out and killing something (and who hasn’t), those of you who have pet(s) also know that feeling of contentment that comes over you when you pull into your driveway and see that furry face in the window patiently awaiting your arrival. You know that as soon as you open the door you’ll be greeted with a furiously wagging tail or a meow and warm purr and realize that, even if for a brief fleeting moment, you suddenly feel a little bit better.
Numerous clinical studies have proven that pets not only lower stress levels in humans, but actually improve the physiological and psychological status in all types of human diseases and disabilities. That’s why more “service” animals are being utilized today in nursing homes, hospices and even children’s wards in some hospitals. And it apparently doesn’t matter what form the pet takes as long as it is a living thing. Get this: In one study, a stressed-out group of adults were told to pet a rabbit, a turtle or their toy forms. The toys had no effect, but stroking the living creature, whether hard-shelled or furry, relieved anxiety. It worked for people regardless of whether they initially said they did or did not like animals.
So, keep in mind that while you’re out walking the “damn dog,” or chasing Fluffy around the house with a spray bottle, you’re getting the exercise you need to help prevent a stroke, myocardial infarction or some other deadly stress-related malady. That said. (tongue in cheek) envision instead that little face in the window or wagging tail, and realize that those are the moments in life that will not only help you feel better but may actually be saving your life. They should be cherished.
Tell everyone you know, dear hearts, that Abandoned Pet Rescue is always more than adequately equipped to fill your life-saving prescription. Allie