As a health and wellness coach, I am continually spreading the word about Self Care and the importance of it.  Helping others to find a way to manage their stress and take time out for themselves.  Just how vital it is to find joy, connect, be in nature and be physical.  Having a pet is a perfect way to do just that. 

Referring in this post specifically to dogs, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that owning a dog requires a bit of energy.  They must be walked and exercised, which means you are out there getting physical right along with them. Also notice the connection with nature.  While walking your dog be sure to take time to feel the sun on your face, hear the birds sing or do some deep breathing.  Making the time you walk with your pet a mindful walk will benefit you greatly by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.  Cortisol is a hormone activated by stress and studies have found that being around animals can decrease cortisol levels. 

Based on a British study, owning a dog has also improved one’s social life.  When you start to engage with others about your companion, people tend to open and really blossom.  They want to share stories about their favorite friend.  Dogs can bring us such joy and provide us with a strong connection to something more than ourselves. 

Of course, being a pet owner is not without stress or effort, but studies show the benefits greatly outweigh any negatives. If you have a furry friend, be mindful of the joy and meaning they can bring to your life. That by simply spending time with our four-legged friends they can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.   

This is a guest blog by Michelle Hodsdon- Health and Wellness Coach. You can learn More about Michelle by visiting her Website or her instagram.