Research studies show that people who own pets (primarily cats and dogs) are less stressed than non-pet owners. Specifically, they have lower resting heart rate and blood pressure measurements than those who don’t. Interestingly, people who own pets are also noted to have shorter hospital stays when ill. What makes owning a pet so healthy? Speculation suggests that it is the ability to bond with something that loves you back. The operative word is LOVE! Experts in the field of health psychology note that the expression of (unconditional) love to pets has a healing quality all its own. They also note that as the world becomes more high tech and friendships become more virtual, there is less and less actual contact with human to human species. Even less contact in the way of the expressions of love (patience, forgiveness, optimism, etc.) While not all house pets bond as closely as we might hope, scientist Rupert Sheldrake was enthralled with the idea of house pets who waited by the door for their owners to return. It was discovered that some pets know the exact moment their owners head for home (regardless of the distance) suggesting some energetic connection between animal and human (Sheldrake calls this the morphogenic energy field). Medical intuitives also share a common insight that some pets have been known to take on their owner’s disease (mostly cancer) as an act of unconditional love. It all comes down to LOVE! Those of you who own pets know all of this already. Those of you who are not pet owners… perhaps its time to include a furry friend to the family?
• Stress Tip for the Day:
With all the housing foreclosures going on these days what doesn’t make the news is that many pets are being left IN the houses once the people leave for good (one can only assume that under such stress, they are not thinking clearly!) Many pet rescue outfits are swamped with the breed of animal they rescue and can use some help to find homes. It might be worth checking out. While owning a pet has its share of responsibilities, the stress-resilient benefits are well worth it. Consider adding pet therapy to your repetoire of relaxation therapies!
• Books Worth Noting:
I would be quite remiss if I didn’t mention the book, Marley & Me in this slot. When my first dog, Shasta, died, I think I ended up with about 15 copies of this book (as gifts from all over the country). The movie was good, the book is much better.
• Photo of the Day:
My new dog, Logan (whom I named after a college buddy), is a three-year old Siberian husky whom I rescued several months ago (thanks Ingrid at Polaris Husky Rescue). It didn’t take long for us to bond and now he is my proverbial shadow. He’s all done shedding his winter coat (for huskies … it’s called a “blowout” and boy did they get that name right!) I am considering making a sweater (perhaps several) out of his blowout next year. Logan tells me he, like my first dog, Shasta, wants to appear on the back cover of a new book. Fingers and paws crossed on that one buddy. Logan will be making a guest appearance as pet therapist in training at the Vail Mountain Retreat in Oct (call for details).
• Quote for the Day:
“Dog spelled backward is still man’s best friend.”
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.