Depression is a serious mental health issue that affects most newly-divorced people. Lucky for them, there are different ways to improve their wellbeing. Attending talk therapy sessions can help a lot, and many antidepressants are effective for depression, too. However, far not all people can afford to pay a therapist or buy expensive medications, especially if they have gone through an emotionally, yet financially draining breakup. This is when their pets can make a huge difference. If you have a cat, dog, horse, or anybody else, read on to find out how your furry friend can help you deal with your post-divorce depression faster.
1. Pets reduce blood pressure and help calm down
There is evidence indicating that watching fish swimming in an aquarium reduces blood pressure and muscle tension. This is true for other pets, too. Pet owners have much lower heart rate when doing stressful tasks – like, say, filing for divorce online, talking to their exes over the phone, etc. Finally, recently divorced people recover from their breakup more quickly and get back on track faster if they have someone to pet. It seems like even the presence of a cat or dog can help you cope with depression better.
2. Pets provide unconditional love
After you have done your divorce forms, love is probably what you need most of all! Now, you don’t want to hear out anybody’s verdicts and opinions on your decision to file for divorce in Wisconsin, and rightly so. All you need right away is some quiet time with your furry friend. No matter how many mistakes you have made in your previous marriage, your dog or cat cannot care less about it, – they still love you, like in the past.
Snuggling with a pet doesn’t only feel great; it relieves oxytocin that increases bonding and decreases loneliness that every recently-divorced person is very likely to suffer from. So, when you feel lonely, having your furry friend around may be much better than talking to your mouthy, yet overly-judgmental friends or family, especially when you feel like you need some time alone.
3. Pets alter people’s behavior
Do you remember that day when your final divorce decree was signed and you then came back home all devastated and annoyed? Perhaps the minute you entered your house you were very close to breaking things with a bat, right? In such a situation, pets can set a different tone: having them walking up, patting, and asking for some attention can quickly alter their owners’ behaviour. People calm down when they spend time with their pets no matter whether these are dogs, lizards, or parrots. They feel more peaceful and are less likely to use many four-letter words while doing their divorce documents and that’s a fact.
4. Pets help us distract
Most pet owners cannot agree more that their furry friends are like a good movie or book. A cat or dog can distract you from your divorce-related problems so that you can clear your head at least for a while. This is exactly what you need, especially when there is a lot to settle. For many, distraction is good therapy after divorce. It is easy to forget about how lonely you are when your doggy is breathing exactly in your face.
5. Pets promote hugs
People interact with pets differently than with other people. Divorced people use lots of non-verbal means of communication when interact with their dogs, cats, rats, etc., and it is their preferred way of communication at least until they fully recover from their breakup.
It is a known fact that touching is beneficial for our immune system; moreover, it greatly reduces stress levels. That is why when we hug our pets, oxytocin, which reduces stress and normalizes heart rates, is produced. It is no surprise, then, that petting your furry friend can help you calm down and become happier.
6. Pets teach to be responsible
When we get a pet, we take responsibility for its life. And there is evidence indicating that responsibility cures depression. You can increase your self-esteem by performing tasks that require you to apply specific skills. If you succeed – your pet grows and develops normally – you start to realize that you can take care not only of yourself but also others. This will give you a good reason to get out of your bed even when you don’t feel like making any move at all. Overall, having a pet that you can take care of is important for your mental wellbeing, especially if you have no kids, or they live with your ex-spouse and you don’t see them that often.
Greg Semmit has years of experience working with different types of legal documents and writing about Family Law for educational purposes. Currently, he is working at OnlineDivorcer company, where he writing blog articles about divorce and divorce cases. In his free time, he likes roaming the streets of New York with his Olympus taking photos of the best spots in the city.