A helping paw – animals and mental health

Today, I am writing about the importance of animals for mental health sufferers speaking from my personal experience(s) and will be touching upon the benefits of having animals by your side during your worst, and best, days. I spend the majority of my time with animals, whether they are my pets or the beautiful animals I have the privilege of working with and caring for during volunteering and work placement roles. And, following on from this, I encourage everybody else to do the same (spend as much time as you can with animals) Animals definitely bring out the best in people.

Personally, I would go insane without having my gorgeous pets by my side. For me, animals are a constant reminder that you have to keep fighting and keep staying strong. If a Lion (for example) gave up hunting for prey in the wild – it’d go hungry and die eventually. Hence why it’s important that we take good care of ourselves and shower ourselves with love and compassion.

Walking up the driveway after a busy day, you’re exhausted but you’ve finally arrived home and there’s somebody dying to see you. Jumping up and down behind the front door awaiting your presence, or swimming magically waiting for you to pass by, sitting patiently by their empty food bowl ready for their hunger needs to be met. Maybe he (or she) is a furry friend, or a scaly friend, a small friend or a larger friend. The point is, somebody is happy to have your company. Somebody relies on you and loves you so much, though this cannot verbally be expressed we can tell how much our animals love us.

You may have had a difficult day, you may no longer see a point in living or breathing; to somebody else you are the most important person in the world, you are needed, valid and loved unconditionally. 

People around me are always commenting on how I’m ‘different’ when I’m surrounded with animals. Why? Well, because they bring out my confidence, my passions and my compassion. They also enable me to feel a sense of achievement and importance, aswell as giving me a reason to carry on fighting each day. Animals help me to see the good in the world and teach me new and exciting things every day – including the values of having your own unique personality and crazy ways about you.

  • Animals cannot and will not judge you, lose their patience with you or get angry with you for having bad days. Though, they can provide you with safety, compassion and lots of hugs.
  • Animals are such gorgeous, loving and sensitive beings who will love you unconditionally at all times. Especially when you’re finding it difficult to love yourself. Ever heard the saying ‘Nobody on this Earth loves you as much as a Dog loves his owner.’
  • Animals give you something to focus on, other than your illnesses. For example, they keep you reminded of the importance of self care, they will encourage you to leave the house and will show you how important food and water is in order to thrive, grow and function. They will also provide you with a sense of responsibility and importance, which will help to lower feelings of worthlessness and despair.
  • It’s been scientifically proven that animals help to boost self-esteem and mood levels.
  • Animals can tell when you’re hurting and will do their best to comfort you, by staying by your side and showing you that you are never alone. Animals are incredibly clever and can sense when something is wrong, just having them around helps to calm down most situations, including bad thoughts and negative feelings.

I hope this post has been helpful and I hope you have a lovely day, too.


Laur x

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