If you have or have ever had a pet, you could attest to the fact that pets add value to our lives. But did you know how much they really do for us besides just being adorable? You don’t need to get an animal trained for therapy to reap the benefits of what our furry (and non-furry) friends have to offer us!
It’s no secret that animals benefit us. There’s no way around it, sure having animals creates more work for us, so there would be no reason we would adopt them if they weren’t doing something great for us. They poop on the floor and you can’t help but still think they’re adorable seconds after cleaning it up. Animals can really be an excellent source of coping. I have a client that was suffering from persistent depression and severe anxiety. They decided to get a cat, and almost immediately, their symptoms were alleviated significantly. Of course, reasonably so, they still have their ups and downs, but I have had the gift of being able to see the positive long-term effects.
Pets can be extremely beneficial to a person suffering from an Eating Disorder. There are many reasons for this. The mere presence of a pet can help bring anxiety and stress down to a functional level while eating meals, which normally creates a lot of stress and anxiety for those struggling with Eating Disorders. Pets also need to be taken care of. We wouldn’t expect nor want our animals to go without food or to eat to the point of sickness, right? We can parallel this to the person struggling with an Eating Disorder. You need to take care of your pet just as you need to take care of yourself. If you need to structure feeding times for your pet at the same time as your meals, you can eat alongside them. It can help to keep you taking care of yourself as you are taking care of them. You are responsible for the care of your pet, so it’s imperative you take care of yourself so that you are physically present and capable of taking care of them in the ways they need.
The other amazing benefit of a pet is that they love you no matter what! Really! They see you for who you are. If you are nice to them and love them, they will love you back. They don’t see you for what you look like or how much you weigh, they don’t care what you look like. Pets are the ultimate example of giving unconditional love.
You don’t have to be suffering with mental health issues for a pet to provide significant positive impacts in your life. When you’re down, your pet will be there for you and help make it more bearable. When you’re happy, your pet will be there for you to make you feel even happier! I know that there’s nothing like getting greeted by my cats when I get home from a long day, stressful day, happy day, tiring day. No matter what, every time I come home, they are happy to see me and I’m happy to see them too.
I hope you found this post informational. If you are struggling with a mental health issue, look into getting a pet that fits your lifestyle. Please share this post with anyone who may enjoy it. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you the benefits of a pet on your way to finding your State of Balance!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder