Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, Tai Chi, petting a dog or a cat, you think one of these isn’t like the other? Well, think again. We all know that mind-body practices are excellent for stress management, but a new research study shows that petting a dog or a cat dramatically reduces your stress.
A group of college students spent 10 minutes either petting or playing with cats or dog. Another group was watching those interacting with a pet. And yet another group was watching a slideshow of animals. Researchers measured levels of stress hormone, cortisol, before and after the experiment. Students who interacted directly with the dogs and the cats experienced a significant drop in their cortisone levels. Their stress reduced. Other groups, no effect.
This just adds to the overwhelming research that shows that people subjectively feel better after interacting with animals and it also shows linking to other research studies that show better longterm health effects if we have an animal in our life.
Us as a family, we just recently got a new puppy. We got Sadie. She’s a Burmadoodle, Burmese mountain dog and a poodle. Just the joy and the love that a new animal brings into our home is just overwhelming. She’s loving. She’s cuddly. We have another dog, Maggie. She’s awesome, too. But we have a cat. Now, I’m not a cat person. I know a lot of people are. God bless you. But I think our cat is obsessed because, for whatever reason, she likes to cuddle and then attack. You’ve all seen the cat videos, right?
But look, if you’re looking to reduce stress and you are a dog or a cat person and you don’t have one, spend some time with a friend or family member’s pet. You can come on over to our house and play. But look, the research is overwhelming. If you got some stress in your life, spend some time with your dog, your cat. There’s [inaudible 00:01:51] that they say dogs are man’s best friend. Spend some time, reduce your stress, and you can thank me later.
With mindfulness and stress and stress reduction. We’re going to start that over because that’s not good.