Modern life can be incredibly stressful to cope with, our constant commute between work and home, and the unending pursuit to find that perfect balance between the two can leave us physically and emotionally drained. With so little time for ourselves, we soon find out that we are suffering from chronic stress which could lead to several disastrous health problems.
In this very tasking existence, we need all the help we can get to cope and control the stressors that face us every day. And one of the great assets that are at our disposal but one we barely ever take the time to use are our feline friends.
A study at the National Center for Biotechnology discovered that spending time with our pets, cats especially lead to an increase in the release of oxytocin also known as the “Cuddle Hormone”. Other hormones such as serotonin and dopamine which helps fight depression, also increase considerably which gives that feel-good feeling we desperately need. Among other ways, cats help us in combating stress and its effects are as follows:
Whenever our stress levels go off the charts especially after a tiring day at work, we just need something that will counter effect off the “fight or flight” mode our body gets in when we get stressed out.
A most effective way is to find that one thing that we will feel comfortable letting our guards down even when under incredible stress. Trusting that they won’t add to it, nor will they harm us even when we are down. Our cats are just those things described and more, when we snuggle with them or caress their furs, they snuggle into us even more, showing us trust at the moment when we are probably at our worst.
This has an almost immediate effect on us, with the cuddle hormone kicking in, we almost immediately feel the stress abating as we leave our problems behind and concentrate on our quality time with someone we can absolutely trust.
Lower Your Chances of Cardiovascular Diseases
The apparent effect of cats on stress extends to its wide-ranging repercussions such as heart diseases. A study at the University of Minnesota showed that cat owners and non-cat-owners have a huge gap when it comes to chances of mortality from cardiovascular ailments.
It was recorded that people who owned cats were up to 40 percent less likely to die from heart diseases. This is indeed a great advantage for one to gain by owning a cat.
Keeping Anxiety Away
The act of taking our time to care for others and in this situation cats, greatly aids us in staving off anxiety. When we invest time cuddling, playing and feeding our beloved companions, who are spontaneous in showing appreciation for our efforts, we tend to forget all our worries behind.
Cats are such a big reliever for anxiety that kids in some countries suffering from chronic anxiety are assigned cats which help them show incredible improvement in very short periods.