Mental Health and The Positive Impact of Pets…And Meet Frank!
I’ve written before about the positive mental health impact that can come from having a pet. Naturally you need to have a pet that fits with your own individual circumstances, yet, the companionship, emotional support and need for routine can certainly bring you psychological benefits.
Sadly we lost our lovely rabbit, Nibbles, last year, but now we have a new arrival into the Regan household! So today I’d like to introduce Frank (although I’m not sure if that really is a proper name for a rabbit??!), who will shortly be joined by a companion.
So amongst all the excitement and playing with Frank the major decision right now is what to call his friend when she arrives? My vote goes to Jesse so that we create the namesakes of those famous outlaw brothers (Jesse and Frank James). Or how about Nancy, so that we have the father and daughter Sinatra named rabbits? Although knowing how things generally turn out in our house we’ll probably end up with a rabbit called Sparkles or Sniffer!
So here is the lovely Frank for you to meet…
Mental Health and Pets
As already mentioned, there is research that suggests that having a pet is linked with positive impacts upon your mental health if you have a mental health condition.
Pets can provide benefits through their connection with their owners and through contributing to emotional support in times of crises. They can also help with the management of symptoms when they arise. Pets can provide a consistent and close source of calming support and companionship, distraction from upsetting symptoms, a level of purpose and routine, and the through the sense that pets accept you for who you are without judgment (Brooks et al, 2018).
Of course, when considering a pet you also need to ensure they match your own individual circumstances because there are also some potential negative aspects of pet ownership such as financial costs, dealing with unruly pets and the potential and actual distress associated with the loss of a pet (as we discovered when Nibbles sadly left us). So whilst there are many benefits of pet ownership for mental health, it may not be right for everyone and you need to chose a pet that will bring you the kind of positive benefits you are looking for.
I’ve covered more about mental health and pets in these two articles: Mental Health & Pets – How Pets Can Benefit Your Mental Health and Mental Health and Pets…And Sad News of Nibbles the Rabbit
Now, obviously, there are lots of other things you should also be doing to support your mental health, many of which I’ve covered in the articles here on my website and in my hypnosis downloads. Frank has proved to be a massive positive here in our household, with the kids spending many hours playing with, caring for and engaging with Frank (who loves the attention and fun that comes with it all, especially as he was bullied by another rabbit in his last home).
And once Jesse, or Nancy, or Sparkles arrives I’ll be sure to introduce you to her and to give you a little update on all the pet related positive fun going on at the end of our garden!
To your positive mental health,
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Reference: Brooks, H.L., Rushton, K., Lovell, K., Bee, P., Walker, L., Grant, L. and Rogers, A., 2018. The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence. BMC psychiatry, 18(1), pp.1-12.