Anxiety disorders can have debilitating effects and interfere with daily life for the many people who live with them. Many anxiety sufferers are surprised to find that pets can make a huge difference in their quality of life. Do you ever feel like you are facing your challenges all alone? Do you wish there was someone who could help you? Here are seven ways pets can help with anxiety.

Get Distracted

A minor thought can quickly escalate into strong emotions when you are feeling vulnerable or especially sensitive. What might not seem like a major issue to others can become hugely ramped up for anxiety sufferers. And, it takes all of your attention. On the other hand, you can focus on your pet when you have one around. Our worries take a back seat as we focus our energies on caring for our furry friend. After all, they need a lot of care and attention.

Clear Your Mind

Sometimes, life is stressful. When the going gets tough, everything can put you on edge. You may notice that when your cat is going crazy over a string or you are walking your dog, you tend to stop thinking about your stressors. Making your pet happy helps clear your mind. By taking a break from worrying, we’re often able to see things from a new perspective.

Listening Without Judgment

You do not always want advice. When people hear that you have anxiety, they may think they can fix your problems. Friends with the best of intentions might think their advice will assuage your fears, but in reality, anxiety is much more complicated than that. Pets are not looking for a fix. Rant to your pet for hours, and they will not try to solve your dilemmas or advise you. Many times, all you need is a listening ear. Pets provide two of them!

Cuddle it Out

Nothing helps comfort anxiety quite like contact with another living thing. It may be because it makes you feel like you don’t have to handle everything on your own or that you are less alone. Even if you do not suffer from anxiety, stroking or holding a pet can help calm you down. When you start to feel all-encompassing anxiety creep up, snuggle with your furry loved one for a calming release.

Improve Social Situations

A major source of anxiety is interacting in social situations. It can be challenging holding conversations and meeting new people. Pets can make it easier. Your cute puppy can be a great conversation piece and contribute to making you more approachable. Your pet essentially serves as a mutual friend between you and anyone you come across. You might think of them as a wingman.

You’re Never Home Alone

Being alone can be nerve-racking when anxiety creeps up. You might be set off by every flicker of light or noise. Dealing with being alone is easier when you have a pet nearby. When you have another body in the house that you can talk to, you feel much calmer.

Companionship is one of the things that makes pets great not just for anxiety sufferers, but for the elderly as well.

Experience Unconditional Love

You might occasionally feel like no one out there likes you all that much. Of course, this is not true, but the feelings are there. On the other hand, when you have a pet, you know they will love you no matter what. Pets are a great opportunity to experience loving something and being loved in return on a daily basis.

This guest post was provided by Jackie Edwards.