I’m a news junkie. This morning, one of the first notifications on my phone was this interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about Stress in our society. It was a fascinating interview, and it really made me grateful that in this past year and a half, my family has been blessed with three of the best stress relievers around!
As of St Patrick’s Day, our kittens are now officially cats. Technically speaking they belong to my girls, but like my son’s black lab, they are all ours.
My confession – I’m allergic to cats. Actually, I’m allergic to dogs too, but I love animals, and my kids begged me for them. I can keep my allergies at bay as long as they wash and brush them, change the litter regularly, and if it gets bad, I can take some allergy medication.
Some might think I’m crazy for having the animals with allergies, but the benefits outweigh any adverse effects. They are walking – “talking” – snuggling de-stress machines.
My dog keeps me walking and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
My cats and my dogs are super affectionate and love to be pet and snuggle. Chewy comes every time he sees one family member hugging another and squeezes in between them to be included. Onyx will walk up to us and stand up on his hind legs with his front paws out to be lifted up and hugged and pet. Spoon will rub figure eights on our legs until we bend down to give him a good rub. All three respond to any sign of distress with proximity and a nudge.
As a matter of fact, when one of my kids or my husband comes home after having had a bad day, I actually see the tension draining from their faces as they give some love to whichever furry family member has greeted them. All the cares of the world drop away for a moment.
Other times, any of us can be having a conversation which is suddenly stopped to watch whatever shenanigans are transpiring around us. These moments are always followed by smiles, giggles, or laughter. Our fur babies can get any of us to play – even after a long day.
They keep us from feeling lonely – even if it’s just by keeping us company in the bathroom!
According to this article written by South Boston Animal Hospital, pets have eight very specific anti-stress benefits.
- They lower blood pressure
- They increase cardiovascular health
- They inspire us to exercise more frequently
- They make us feel less lonely
- They help us live in the moment
- They fulfill our need for touch
- They increase feelings of self-esteem
- They make us laugh
I am so very thankful to have these boys in my family. Even as I sit and write this, Chewy is asleep on the floor near my feet, Spoon is curled up next to me, and Onyx is periodically climbing on me to inspect my writing.
If you are lucky enough to have a furry family member, take a moment to show them how thankful you are to have them in your life!