6 Ways Cats Can Improve Your Mental Health
The ever-present stress people experience in their everyday lives can take a toll on their mental health and wellbeing. In that sense, it helps to have a soothing, welcoming atmosphere in your home. Unwinding after a long day cats provide someone you love and who unconditionally loves you. It can backtrack the problematic emotions that might be troubling you. Hence, no wonder so many people choose to adopt a stray cat. In general, cats tend to be affectionate, wonderful pets as they can appease and entertain a wounded soul. For this reason, we will talk about six ways cats can improve your mental health, giving you a reason to get a furry friend as soon as today.
It is not just the silk-soft fur and the funny, adorable habits that make cats invaluable in combating mental health problems. Some research has shown that even the presence of a feline four-legged family member helps you cope with troubling feelings. Furthermore, cat owners are likely to derive several physiological and psychological benefits from the invested time and effort that goes into looking after your cat. Let’s see what they are.
Stroking cats releases oxytocin
One notable advantage of having soft, loving cats curl up next to you while you relax at home lies in the physiological reactions your body experiences while you stroke your cat. Namely, petting your cat reduces anxiety and strife you might have piled up throughout the day. How? This happens because touching your cat releases oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress and anxiety and makes you feel calm and protected. This hormone is typically excreted by the hypothalamus when you touch, hug, kiss, give birth, lactate, or make love to someone. It is also referred to as the ‘love hormone.’ When you stroke your cat, your body reacts to the sensation by releasing this hormone, making you feel less anxious and upset. So, whenever your thoughts and emotions get the better of you, be sure to cuddle your cat and return the hormonal balance in your body.
Cats lower blood pressure
Another notable benefit of having a cat relates to her ability to lower your blood pressure. Like with oxytocin, the physiological response to their presence leads to the normalization of internal metabolic processes. A lower heart rate makes you calmer and more in tune with yourself.
Cats help keep stress at bay
Feeling composed and relaxed is also of great help in the face of life’s events and situations. Those events might exacerbate your feelings of helplessness and lack of control. Some people experience a lot of stress when relocating to a new home. Cuddling up with cats after a long day of packing your belongings will bring you peace of mind.
If you plan to relocate with your feline friend soon, it is helpful to plan your move carefully. Firstly, it makes sense to look for a suitable area that will be beneficial to both you and your cats’ mental health. Good to locate a pet-friendly neighborhood with lots of greenery and pet-friendly cafes.
Cats presence helps improve mental health in that it places the person in a balanced state of mind. Also, it eliminates panicking over your internal struggles. That is why mental health specialists usually recommend cats to people Once your blood pressure and heart rate are lower, you can think more clearly and analyze your situation more realistically.
Cats help you create a routine
Caring for your cat improves your mental health for several reasons. Many people who experience mental health issues struggle to stick to a daily routine. However, the few tasks you need to do to keep your cat healthy and satisfied will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Many cat owners report feeling more active during the day as they go shopping for cat food, sand, nibbles, toys – you get the gist. The few daily cat-related tasks such as feeding, brushing, and cleaning your cat’s sand will also help you get up early, feeling fresh and motivated.
Cat’s purring is therapeutic
Cats purr within a range of 20-150 Hz – a frequency level that induces feelings of calm and satisfaction in humans. Aside from stress reduction, hearing a cat purr also brings about controlled breathing, normalizes blood pressure, and even speeds up healing of infections and injuries. Your cat can be a true panacea for several mental and physical predicaments that you might experience.
Cats are great sleeping partners
Sleeping alone when you are struggling with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy can take a toll on your mental health. However, having a cat can backtrack these negative impulses. Luckily, cats have a pronounced ‘sixth sense’ that allows them to detect when you might be feeling unsatisfied or anxious. Hence, cats often curl up on their owners when sleeping, mainly when they sense that the owner is troubled or sad.