Dogs are popular pet animals and can be found in a huge percentage of the households. However, they could be much more than a watch guard and a cute companion.
Increasing stress level amongst youth is a problem that needs immediate addressal. There are many ways to tackle the problem like getting professional counselling help, engaging in cultural activities, etc. In an unconventional approach to tackle the problem, the University Health and Counseling Services and the mental health awareness student group Active Minds of Northeastern University organised the event Paws for Stress Relief to help students tackle the academic pressure nearing final exams.
The principle behind this is purely biological. When we play with or pet a therapy animal, there is an increase in the production of oxytocin hormone which is responsible for stress reduction and a decrease in the production of cortisol hormone which is responsible for increasing our stress levels. This helps in putting the person in more ease, thus making them less stressed. This reduction in stress can also help in improving one’s physical health. From helping patients of blood pressure to reduce this and people who have had heart attacks to survive longer, having a dog as your pet can do wonders to your physical well-being. By reducing one’s feelings of anxiety, social isolation, loneliness and depression, dogs also help improve the social life one is leading.
Having a dog can especially benefit when there is a growing child. From reducing the possibility of anxiety in children to helping them grow as more secure and active, there are more reasons to buy a dog than simply as a playmate.
N Malavika Mohan