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6 Ways Pets Help Boost Your Happiness

A young man playing with his dog outdoors.

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Happiness is essential to a fulfilling life. Want happiness? A pet might help. If you are one of the millions of pet owners around the country, you probably cannot imagine life without your animal companion.  Pets have been shown to help increase health and happiness. Furthermore, studies show the more time you spend with your furry friend, the better you feel.

Check out the six science-backed ways pets boost your happiness. Perhaps this article will make you want to add a furry friend(s) in your home.

  1. Pets offer a comforting presence.

Having a pet is a calm, comforting, and familiar greeting you receive every day. Studies reveal merely watching fish can help lower blood pressure and muscle tension in people about to undergo oral surgery. No wonder dentists are so fond of aquariums!

Other research reveals that pet owners have lower blood pressure and heart rate before and after performing stressful tasks. The presence of an animal is so beneficial for both physical and mental reasons.

  1. Pets offer unconditional love.

Pets will love you no matter what. They are without opinions, critiques or verdicts. A study showed that nursing home residents in St. Louis felt less lonely with some quiet time with a dog alone than a visit with both a dog and other residents.  The study had half the group spend alone time with just a dog and the other half shared the dog with other nursing home residents. Those who spent time with the dog alone felt the least alone compared to the others. This could mean that many people prefer to spend quality time with their furry little friends so they can divulge their innermost thoughts and not be judged.

  1. Pets change our behavior.

You may have the worse day ever, but when you walk through the door, your pet will be excited and happy to see you. They will crave your attention and love. Pets have the ability to alter your behavior. You become less agitated and depressed after spending quality time with your loving pet.

  1. Pets are a great distraction.

In the midst of the good and horrible things occurring in our lives, pets can be an excellent distraction. Pets only require food, water, affection and attention. They are simple beings. For that reason, pets can be an effective therapy when your head is flooding with distractions. It is tough to ruminate on how horrible things are when a dog or cat is breathing near your face.

  1. Pets promote touch.

Touch is a powerful healing tool. Research indicates that a 45-minute massage can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and even allows for your immune system to run more efficiently by building white blood cells. Hugging floods our body with oxytocin, a chemical that reduces blood pressure, heart rate and lowers stress.   It should come to no surprise then that petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and boost happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

  1. Pets make you more responsible.

With pets come responsibility, and sometimes that is very healthy for us. Psychologists agree that we build our self-esteem by taking ownership of a task. When we succeed, we can assure ourselves that we can take care of others as well as ourselves. Taking care of a pet brings structure to our day. Sleeping in becomes less likely because we have to walk our dogs. Staying out all night now requires more planning and thought. Essentially, you begin to spend more time conscious of your day to day duties.

Having a pet can be helpful for many reasons. Do you have a furry friend?  If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness, substance abuse or addiction, please call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Crazy News Stories of the Week

Author: Justin Mckibben

Crazy News Stories of the Week

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Meth for Ministry

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Walter White of the hit series Breaking Bad was a preacher instead of a teacher? OK, me neither, but this is pretty close anyway. Judith Hemken, 53, and Tiffany Burton, 26, were accused of cooking meth inside a southern Illinois church and arrested near Hillsboro. A member of the Waveland Hillsboro Presbyterian Church apparently ‘noticed activity’ in the building on a Tuesday night when it was supposed to be empty and reported it to the authorities.

According to Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins the church member reportedly spotted one woman outside the church and another in its basement, with what appeared to be parts of a meth lab. The women fled, but were pulled over by police. After which a clandestine meth lab in the church basement was discovered and officers had to extinguish a small fire that started due to the lithium and moisture from a sink drain.

Neither woman was affiliated with Waveland, Robbins said. Since the alleged lab was inside a church, the women could face enhanced sentences of up to 40 years in prison. May God have mercy on these two, because with this being such a strange case and the criminal activity in question being done on holy ground there is no telling if the judge will.

Crazy News Stories of the Week

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Mikey Mouse Ain’t Nothing to Mess with

Now this has yet to be revealed as a hoax, but a recent road rage video clip caught on camera in Russia over the weekend shows a disgruntled motorist stopping a vehicle with which he’s had some kind of problem. The video shows him walk toward the vehicle and be quickly over-run and assaulted, as people dressed as Mickey Mouse, Spongebob Squarepants, Scrat from “Ice Age” and some kind of spotted furry creature jump out and start beating him. Kicking and punching the man.

Some might say that he was being viciously attacked after exhibiting some road rage, others might say he was an adoring fan or cartoons who was greeted by his favorite giant stuffed animals with a fury of ‘fist cuddles’.

Crazy News Stories of the Week

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Hallucinated Hostage Situation

In a Florida home of Jackson County there apparently was a hostage situation that turned out to be more- or less- than it appeared. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded last Sunday after several reports came in that there were three people screaming out of a home, claiming to have been taken hostage.

Authorities arrived at the residence and were told that the three supposed victims were 18-year-old Madison Douglas, 21-year-old Damian Hines, and 30-year-old Matthew McDaniel. The officers answering the distress call were informed that the 3 had been taken hostage for several hours. Bullet holes were found in the windows and walls, and the victims completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts, and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor. In the end the damage done to the home was over $10,000.

Police soon after investigating discovered that the 3 distressed individuals had in fact hallucinated the entire situation while on meth. The young woman Madison Douglas even claimed she had been stabbed by a suspect, but authorities said she had only a light scratch on her abdomen which was, the rest of this ridiculous and disturbing hallucinated hostage situation, self-inflicted.

Crazy News Stories of the Week

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Park Ranger Placed on Leave: Drunk on the Job

A California State Parks ranger was allegedly found drunk with an open beer container between his legs and asleep in his patrol car. The officer has apparently been placed on leave and his peace officer status has been revoked pending a full scale investigation as reported by the California Highway Patrol.

A passerby spotted Tyson Young, the Park Ranger in question in Humboldt Redwoods State Park on August 15th and first tried to wake ranger Young. The observer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Lost Coast Outpost that he shook Young trying to wake him, but to no avail. The anonymous observer then took a photo of the ranger, which California State Parks later confirmed to be officer Young after the Lost Coast Outlet had posted the photo on twitter.

Apparently nobody told this guy it’s tough to preserve wildlife and prevent forest fires while in a black-out. Thankfully he does… oh wait, yes he does carry a firearm on the job.

Crazy News Stories of the Week

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Cat-burglar Caught by Adorable Distractions

So if you are going to commit a crime, then get high and run for police, whatever you do DO NOT pet the cats. Cats obviously cannot be trusted! 21-year-old Daniel Pinedo Velapatino had just talked his way into a woman’s home in Boca Raton, Florida after leading police on a chase that had jumped to a start in Delray Beach. He knocked on her door last Tuesday to ask for a drink from the home-owner who assumed he was a landscaper.

Candace Noonan, who lived at the Boca Raton residence, obliged the suspect with a drink of water he requested unaware that Velapatino had allegedly consumed drugs the night before, stole thousands of dollars from a buddy, and then smashed into a bunch of cars as he ran from police. When she returned with the water, Velapatino was lying on her floor, playing with her fuzzy and adorable detectives, the cats.

“It was odd, very odd,” she said. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.”

When Noonan’s husband began questioning Velpatino, he fled out the back door. The Noonans led police to him, and he allegedly attempted to jump in a nearby canal but was apprehended by a police boat. I can’t decide whether those cats are just too adorable to ignore even in the midst of a high tensions police chase, or if they are clever and cunning undercover agents of the animal kingdom, coughing up fur balls… of JUSTICE!

Some of these stories seem crazier than usual, but then again to the addict or alcoholic these could seem like a Friday night or resemble stories we have been told about ourselves. Luckily, things do not have to get this bad, and even if they do there is always help out there. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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