The Healing Touch of a Pet
Having a pet is one of life’s greatest gifts. Not only are they a source of love and companionship, but pets can also offer healing for those going through difficult times. Thus, it’s no surprise that people have turned to animals as a source of solace for hundreds of years. From the elderly dealing with loneliness to someone grieving the loss of a loved one. Animals have a unique ability to bring comfort during these painful moments. In fact, according to Virginia Commonwealth University animal companionship may help with healing from tragedy, grief, or traumatic experiences.
So, don’t underestimate the power of an animal’s love and understanding - it can work wonders in restoring your spirits. With their special brand of care, these wonderful creatures are true healers at heart! Here are just a few ways pets can offer comfort and support during tough times:
Pets Provide Unconditional Love
Whether you are grieving, feeling lonely, or struggling through a difficult period of your life, your furry friends can bring immense peace and comfort during times of distress. Their unconditional love can provide you tremendous encouragement and can lift your spirits. This is especially true for pets who have been part of the family for a long time, as they provide a constant source of support and familiarity that you can lean on in hard times. So, if you’re going through a challenging season, try spending some quality time with a pet.
There is nothing quite as soothing as a warm hug or cuddle from your pet. They provide physical affection that reminds you of the love shared between humans, especially in times of grief or loneliness. Also, cuddling up with a pet offers calming physical contact that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
As a matter of fact, studies have shown that petting a pup or cuddling with your cat can help keep stress levels down. It stimulates the release of hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, which are associated with feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
A Sense of Purpose
When dealing with loss, sometimes it can be difficult to find a sense of purpose in life. Taking care of an animal can give you a sense of responsibility and accomplishment which may otherwise be missing during this time. From taking your pup for walks to playing together, interacting with your pet will assist you in staying motivated and focused on a positive goal; hence it will ultimately help to heal.
Pets are non-judgmental and understanding, providing a sense of safety to talk openly and honestly about whatever emotions the individual is dealing with. They offer a listening ear without offering advice or additional worry, which can help alleviate stress in difficult situations.
Taking care of a pet requires increased physical activity. Playing or taking them for walks - even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, can help boost your mood significantly. This improvement in mood can help you to better cope with difficult emotions and reduce feelings of helplessness.
Pets require routine and schedule, which can help provide a sense of structure in the lives of those who are struggling. It is especially useful after losing a loved one who was close and would engage in activities on a regular basis. Establishing a regular schedule to care for the pet gives you something to focus on outside your current situation, providing a distraction from your pain and allowing you to take a break from your emotions.
Sense of security
Having a pet can make you feel more secure. They provide you with a sense of protection and stability, especially when dealing with traumatic experiences. Pets also give you comfort in knowing that there is always someone looking out for your best interests.
Distraction from pain
When emotional pain becomes too much, having a pet around can be a great distraction. Pets provide us with an outlet for our feelings of despair and can help us to focus on the present moment instead of focusing too much on the past. This will assist you in finding peace of mind and emotional stability.
Lift in mood
Pets can be great mood lifters! Even on the most dismal days, having a pet around us can help us to smile and laugh at the silliness of our furry friends. Sometimes it’s just what we need to lift our spirits and remind us that life is still worth living, even after a painful experience that makes your heart bleed.
In conclusion, the healing touch of a pet is undeniable. With unconditional love and companionship, they can provide invaluable emotional support when we’re going through tough times. So, if you’re looking for comfort or solace during a difficult period in your life, consider getting a pet. It’s one of God’s beautiful creations and is a gift that can provide you with ongoing support you’ve desired. With their understanding, empathy, and unconditional love, pets truly are healers at heart.
Furthermore, you can always get emotional support at Faith on the Journey Counseling. We offer online counseling services and support groups for people who are struggling with emotional pain and distress. Our goal is to provide you with a safe place to explore your feelings and find peace of mind in difficult times. So, don’t hesitate to reach out - we are here for you!
To learn more about our Christian Counseling services, visit our website at faithonthejourney.org.
Are you a horse lover? Check out our podcast on the healing power of horses HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Mungai is an accomplished administrator and emerging author with a passion for writing in various fields. She graduated from Moi University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and has been working in administrative roles for several years. Terry has two years of writing experience and is enthusiastic about producing engaging content that informs, educates, and entertains readers. She is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya, where she spends her free time exploring new writing projects and perfecting her craft.