Can an Emotional Support Animal make you healthier?

    Health is so important for us as humans, and many of us don’t even realize it until we have a scare that causes us to rethink how we look after ourselves. The crucial moment when we have a health scare, or when our health slides, is a terrifying reminder that we’re not invincible and that caring for our physical and mental selves is one of the most important things that we need to do.

    There are a huge number of ways to keep yourself healthy—in fact there’s a whole industry built on the promotion of wellness! But looking after our health need not be a complicated affair. Let’s takes a look at the simplest ways to keep yourself healthy, with special focus on the special ways that an emotional support animal can keep you feeling good.

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    Easy Ways to Look After Your Health

    Taking care of your health adequately, both mental and physical, can seem to be a huge task, but really when you break it down it’s pretty manageable. Sometimes, it’s fun too!

    Take Up Something Physical That You Enjoy

    Being physically active is super important for humans, which is something that we all know. Making time to be active and sticking with it? That’s the hard bit to work out! The key to staying physically active is finding something that you enjoy doing so that you want to continue doing it. The options are endless—yoga, rock climbing, walking the dog, hiking, aquatic aerobics…just make sure it’s something you enjoy, and it won’t feel like a chore.

    Keep a Healthy Diet

    Vegetables, fruits, healthy grains and fats, you know the drill. Try and get creative in the kitchen so that you can learn to enjoy healthy foods. And don’t deprive yourself completely of foods that are not considered healthy – this can lead to binges. It’s better to give into cravings every once in a while, and with a balanced diet you’ll still be healthy.

    Less Screen Time, More Friend Time

    One of the double-edged swords of our generation is the proliferation of technology. While innovations in this area have improved may facets of our life, it’s clear that there is also damage being wreaked on our mental health. An easy way to mitigate the effects of this is to trade screen time for friend time. Time spent building relationships in real life is crazy important for your mental health, so it’s important not to neglect this area of your life.

    How an ESA Can Keep You Healthy!

    Emotional support animals, or ESAs are a relative newcomer to the field of mental health care, but they have already shown themselves to be effective for a range of conditions such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. But how exactly can emotional support animals help to keep us healthy? Well, turns out there are a whole range of ways that they can help. Let’s check it out.

    By Encouraging You to Exercise

    Exercise can often be a chore, but with an emotional support animal, it can actually turn into a fun activity! Pets such as dogs require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy, which can at the same time keep you happy and healthy. So easy. Cats also need physical activity to keep them fit and happy, in the form of games and toys which provide both physical and mental stimulation, for both of you!

    By Providing Social Interaction (When You Don’t Have Human Company)

    Relationships with others are so important to our health and well-being, but all of us experience loneliness at some point or another, usually due to reasons beyond our control. This is okay if the periods are short and isolated, but can be problematic if they are longer and uninterrupted. Isolation and loneliness can make us more prone to developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Emotional support animals can help to avoid this by providing a level of social interaction that can help to make us feel mentally healthier even if we are not able to interact with other people. ESAs are able to provide affection, company and attention to their owners whenever they need it, making them excellent tools for caring for mental health.
    By Increasing Good Brain Chemicals, and Decreasing the Bad Ones
    One of the most amazing ways in which emotional support animals can help to support our physical health is the incredible positive changes that they can make in our brains and bodies. Interacting with animals has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for lots of nasty problems, including heart attacks. ESAs have been shown to be so effective at doing this that some coronary care units now employ therapy animals to assist in keeping heart patients healthy! Pets can also boost the levels of feel good chemicals in our brains such as oxytocin and dopamine, both of which can help to re balance our brain, helping to fight off mental illness. The effects on our overall health just from being around these amazing animals is pretty astounding—especially considering all we have to do is bask in their cuteness to reap the amazing benefits!

    Maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle can seem challenging, but with a few simple lifestyle tweaks, it can actually be a manageable goal. By maintaining your exercise level, diet and social relationships, you can live a healthier life. Another excellent option for looking after your health is by having an ESA prescribed (learn more from this great resource). These amazing animals can help you in a number of way to get back on track to living your best life!

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