According to scientists, animals make you happier
Have you ever wondered why seeing your dog after a long day makes you feel so good? There is a lot more to our furry friends than meets the eye. It turns out, petting our animals can actually increase feel-good chemicals in our brain, reduce stress, and lessen the symptoms of serious conditiond like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alzheimer's. The best (and most surprising) find: even the easiest pets can make a big difference on your mental health.
Crickets lessen depression.
A study published in Gerontology assessed the impact crickets had on eldery people, and the results are amazing. One group of people were given a cage of 5 crickets to care for. After an 8 week study, the cricket caregivers were less depressed compared to the control group. According to Time Magazine "The act of caring for a living creature seems to make the difference."
Fish improve focus.
An Alzheimer's-disease facility noticed an increase in patients' ability to focus after installing an aqaurium full of brightly-colored fish. The aqaurium placed in the dining area help patients eat more and get better nutrition. As described by the Western Journal of Nursing Research, patients we more attentive and active than ever before.
Dog owners live longer.
People who own dogs have lower reactivity to stress and an easier time recovering after stressful events. They're also more active and in better health according to Time Magazine. Dogs have also proven to reduce the risk of asthma in children. Children who have been exposed to dogs within the first year of life have a 13 percent lower risk of asthma.
Guinea pigs are a game-changer.
Children on the autistic spectrum have a tougher time socializing than their peers. Animals of any kind make socializing easier for these kids by reducing stress and irritability. A study conducted by Maggie O'Haire of Purdue found schoolchildren with autism were more social, smiled and laughed more, and felt less stressed when there was a guinea pig in their classroom.
Do you have pets? If you could have any pet what would it be? Share with us in the comments!