Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Maybe you're not a pet person, if not, I totally get it. I wasn't for a very long time but, out of the blue, my sweet Georgia stole my heart and changed how I felt about having another dog - even when they track in mud, smell like God knows what, and dig holes. Georgia passed away last December and I miss her everyday. Her shaggy sister, Rosie, is a hilarious sidekick to our new puppy Molly. These two keep wondering what in the world is going on and on my toes. Rosie is skittish, silly, and smart... but also dumber than a box of rocks at the same time. Molly is energetic, intelligent, and right now a total pain in the butt. They're both sweet girls and they make me as crazy as they do sane.
Don't let the fact that Molly is sleeping fool you. She probably just ran 5 miles in the back yard and dug a hole to Asia.
What about you? If you do have a dog or a cat, or a fish or a snake, (Why would someone have a snake? 😱!) I'd love to hear about them! Tell me what you love and what makes you bananas about the little fluff buckets in your life in the comments. When it comes to your pets, they aren't just adorable devoted friends. Having a pet in your house has enormous health benefits.
Here are a few ways that your dog or cat, or even your goldfish, can impact both your physical or mental health. Having a pet REDUCES ANXIETY and DEPRESSION. Playing with your pet increases serotonin and dopamine levels which increase the good feelings. Simply petting your dog or cat or talking to your goldfish gives you a feeling of companionship; if you live alone or feel alone, having a pet to talk to and the responsibility of caring for helps you FEEL WANTED AND NEEDED. 🐾
Having a pet can also help to calm your nervous system. When you lower your overall anxiousness and stress, your cortisol level (a stress hormone) goes down and as does the intensity and frequency of anxiety and anxiety attacks. You feel more calm and centered and your furry friends get some love too. 🐾
This is my sweet Georgia. She was the best girl.
Pets can help BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE! Is anyone as devoted as your cat or dog? They always listen without judgement, they think you hung the moon, and they look at you with those sweet eyes like you're the Queen. You can tell them everything and they listen, love, and show you how wonderful you truly are. Whether you're venting about your day at work or telling them how excited you about your date, they are all ears. 🐾 PETS ADD STRUCTURE TO YOUR DAY. They need fed, walked, pet, brushed, and attention, and if they're like Molly, when they don't get it, they'll let you know you're slacking. I've talked before about creating a daily routine to keep you moving forward, focused, and grounded in the present. When you create structure and predictability in your day, you provide a familiar path for your brain and your pet. As your day unfolds you know exactly what comes next; you feed the dog, play with the cat, shower, and keep moving forward with less anxiousness and drama while also allowing you time to relax and have fun. If you're struggling to create a routine, it's definitely time for coaching and maybe a pet too. 🐾 Dogs in particular can help you MEET NEW FRIENDS AND KEEP YOU FIT AND ACTIVE. Taking your pooch on a walk in the park each day, to the groomer, or out and about to run errands, can open doors to meeting new friends so you can work on breaking through barriers social anxiety might have placed on you. You have your dog as a buffer when you're unsure what to say or need a quick "escape" but you also have a perfect conversation piece because who doesn't want to talk about how adorable your puppy is?!
We got Molly in a blizzard and her little puppy butt looks like a black bear. I think it's the cutest.
Maybe you're still wondering how you can create a daily routine and habits... or maybe the thought of taking your dog on a walk and having to talk to people has you feeling more like throwing up that feeling successful. If anxiety is poking it's nose into your life and holding you back, right now is the perfect time to create a life where you are calling the shots and not the scary thoughts and feelings. I can help you bust through anxiety and grow your confidence so the next time your pup needs a walk, your high school reunion rolls around, or there is a wedding you're dreading (or already planning on skipping because it's just too much) you've got a handle on your worries, you feel confidence, and you're ready for action.
You deserve to feel amazing and to be able to live life like the superstar you are.
Just ask your pet.