Stroking Cats And Dogs For Just 10 Minutes “Considerably” Reduces Anxiety

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By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

“The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” 
Ellen Glasgow

We as a species are stressed to stretching point. We are poisoning ourselves with fear and anxiety, shortening our lifespan. We constantly live in a fear of anxiety; heart pounding like a trapped, terrified creature.  Do we just lie there, shutting out a beautiful life or do we get out before it is too late? We need to change our lifestyle to relieve that. And medicines are not going to bring a permanent cure.

Pet Your Blues Away

Pets absorb our loneliness. They give us a purpose, responsibility,  a reason for waking up early and a reason to look into the future. They sure make our ride a lot smoother. They are the ones who tell you that it is not a mistake to see the world as a great benevolent place. The look of pure ecstasy for something as insignificant as a thrown ball is such a blessing. Their presence in times of mental and emotional upheavals and transition acts as a touchstone. It is a reminder of normalcy, of comfort, and the certainty of a love that can get you through.

Also, read: Study Finds Dogs Mirror Owners Stress Levels

The Stress-Busters

Now in an innovative effort which has been known to pet owners in s subjective way, universities have introduced stress-relieving programs where university students got to interact with animals. Studies have proved that petting your pets for as little as ten minutes reduces stress levels.

The ‘Pet Your Stress Away’ series of events adopted by universities encourage students to interact with pets for as little as ten minutes each time and it seems to be paying dividends now.

The research proved that pets lifted students’ moods significantly and just their presence relieved stress. And 10 minutes were enough for a significant result. The reduction in cortisol levels, a hormone that changes in proportion with stress levels, indicated and this was the first-ever study that indicated a reduction in the cortisol levels of students at a real-life study.

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It Is A Chemical Thing

It was research into the cortisol levels. 249 students were put into four groups at random. Each group was subjected to different levels of exposure. Group one directly petted the animals for 10 minutes. Group two observed the first group petting the cats and dogs. Group three watched a slideshow depicting the interaction and group

four was ‘waitlisted.’ Students who stroked the pets for ten minutes had much less cortisol in their saliva and it increased with each group. Cortisol is a chemical in our body which peaks when we are stressed.

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Students love interacting with animals. But a scientific and less subjective analysis was needed to confirm the phenomenon. The finding was significant because it proved that the reduction of stress hormones could have significant benefits for mental and physical health.

Image Credits: 123RF 
H/T: Daily Mail 

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