If you are fortunate to have a very good friend, spouse or family member that you can turn to both when times have been good to you or the opposite, then you know how important those relationships can be. Life can be lonely at times and very isolating. Being able to enjoy a walk with a friend or a meal with a sibling has the power to change your outlook or simply appreciate the blessings you have been given.
Not all of us have the good fortune to have fostered these types of relationships. Sometimes life gets in the way; busy schedules, overly committed lifestyles or a lack of motivation. The result can often affect your level of happiness.
Happiness is defined as a "mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy." That's quite a range of emotions.
So, how can your dog positively affect your happiness?
It has been known for many years, that dog ownership can have a positive affect on your level of well being. In fact, many studies over a considerable period of time, suggest that your relationship can result in a significant and sustained reduction in minor health problems.
By the very nature of taking your pet for a walk everyday, you are going to up the amount of physical activity thereby contributing to possible weight loss, stress reduction and so on. For those who suffer from diseases such as arthritis can find that walking your pet daily can provide relief from pain. In addition, it has been noted that anxiety levels may be reduced as well. There is another aspect of the daily walk that can be underestimated. The social nature of the daily walk, meeting and conversing with other dog walkers or neighbors can be very enjoyable and divert your attention from the more pressing issues in your life; if only for a short time.
In so many ways, you pet is dependent upon you. This dependency includes the daily needs of being fed and housed safely. They also need and crave attention. By providing playtime, grooming and a simple touch, the Owne bonds with the pet. A sense of companionship develops that can often grow into something much more. This can be a very satisfying experience and one that definitely leaves the owner with a great sense of being needed. All of which can contribute to happiness, especially for those who are lonely or feeling down.
The power of this was best noted when it was observed that some cancer patients were motivated to comply with their treatment requirements because of their desire to get home to their pets as soon as possible.
Your dog and your relationship with it, has the potential to go far beyond the initial responsibilities of ownership. To varying degrees, your pet can positively affect well being by contributing to sense of contentment.
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