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Can Dogs Help Women Overcome Anxiety And Depression?

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Millions of women across the world suffer from depression and anxiety today. And the numbers are rising. Having a pet dog can be great emotional support for any woman battling with stress and loneliness.

Coming home to a wet nose and a wagging tail can definitely brighten up your day. Here are five great reasons why adopting a pet dog can greatly help you get relief from anxiety and stress.


1. Get More Exercise

Regular exercise can help keep anxiety symptoms under control. Physical activity increases the production of endorphins in the body. Endorphin acts like a natural soothing agent that eases your body and mind.

Having a dog ensures that you will take her or him out for a walk, run, or play with her outdoors. Taking your dog outdoors for daily activities will give you regular exercise. It also acts like playtime for you where you get to have fun with your dog.

Regularly engaging in fun activities increases the serotonin levels in your brain. Increased serotonin levels help keep your mind and body in a happy and balanced mood.

Frequent exercise also helps improve sleep quality and decreases stress levels. This can be a great boon for women with anxiety and depression.


2. Help You Make New Friends

Taking your dog out for a walk can be a great way of meeting new people. Even if you just take your dog for a short stroll now and then, you may bump into someone of interest. Dog lovers tend to notice each other.

And dogs are even keener on getting to know other dogs they find themselves around. Your dog may pull her leash and tow you towards another dog whose owner may turn out to be a future best friend.

Pooches also make great conversation starters. You can casually start a chat with a fellow dog owner and exchange stories. And before you know it, you may have found a person you have a lot in common with.

Having regular in-person conversations with your new-found friends can increase your sense of belonging and ease anxiety and depression symptoms.


3. Boost Your Self Confidence

People with anxiety and depression may suffer from low self-esteem and self-confidence.

Taking care of a dog takes a lot of work. Feeding, grooming, exercising, and playing with your pooch can greatly increase your sense of responsibility.

This will improve your self-esteem because you have proven to yourself that you can take care of another creature all on your own.

As you bond with your dog and train him or her to follow simple commands, it can give you a new sense of joy and pride.

An enhanced feeling of self-esteem will greatly aid you in overcoming your own depression and anxiety.


4. Build A Daily Routine

Raising a dog requires building a daily feeding, walking and exercise schedule. If your dog’s day is unpredictable, then it can make her stressed and trigger unwanted behavior.

Dogs love having a predictable routine when it comes to food and play. Having a regular schedule will keep your dog happy and your job easy.

This daily routine and structure of activities can help calm down your anxious and stressed mind. Following a predictable set of actions every day in the same order can be a soothing experience for both you and your dog’s anxiety.

Following the same routine, every day will help keep your pooch calm and your mind balanced.


5. The Pet Effect

Several medical studies have found that stroking a pet like a dog for just 10 minutes each day can bring down human stress levels. This is informally known as the pet effect.

Regular petting also increases the production of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is a bonding chemical that alleviates feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Stroking your dog will also bring down your blood pressure and leave you feeling calm and relaxed.

Frequent interactions with a pet can bring down the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body and help you better manage long-term mental conditions like anxiety and depression.

Dogs provide unconditional love and companionship no matter what you are going through in life. When your dog greets you with that excited look each time you get back from work, it can relieve the tension from even the most stressful days.

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