Pets heal the introvert’s soul
Had a bad day at work? Had an ugly fight with your partner? Everything went wrong in the day? Struggling with self-love? Let your beloved pet soothe your soul. Every time I felt emotionally exhausted or just had a hard long day, my Labrador Buzo (RIP brother) would start wagging his tail the moment I entered my apartment and jump up on me, looking at me with his adorable eyes. As I sat down beside him and started talking to him about my day, I felt a relief I cannot explain. He was the friend and therapist I needed on a daily basis. All my pain and exhaustion would disappear within minutes and I would feel immediately energized. That is the connection between introverts and pets.
Michaela writes “You see, animals simply don’t do small talk. Otis the dog will never ask you how your day was, or what you did on the weekend. But his eyes will light up when you walk in a room. And he will stay by your side through good times and bad. Should you ever feel like opening up, he’ll perk his ears in your direction, and listen intently without ever interrupting you.”
The same thing goes with cats. When you really talk to them, they listen. In fact, it is the same with every other animal you can have as a pet – a rabbit, a hamster, a tortoise, a parakeet or even fish. “Their expectations are blissfully low. This is such a relief in the demanding, extrovert biased world we live in,” Michaela adds.
Read also: Can Pets Cure Us Of Our Illnesses?
Health, introverts and pets
Pet-owning introverts tend to be mentally and physically healthier than introverts who don’t have any pets. Amy Gardner writes “Spending time with a pet has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and release chemicals that trigger relaxation.” According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), owning a pet can lead to a lot of health benefits. Not only do our pets increase our chances for exercising, they also help us to manage our stress and anxiety levels, depression and loneliness by offering us companionship.
“Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners,” explains the CDC. Here’s how having a pet can be beneficial for an introvert, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Increased opportunities for outdoor activities/exercise
- Increased opportunities for socialization
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
“Many research studies show that animals really do help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression in humans,” adds Michaela. In fact, research shows that animal interactions can help to reduce levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. It has also been observed that pets can also “increase feelings of social support and boost your mood.”
A 2018 study has revealed that “exposure to pet therapy (PT) can reduce physiological and subjective stress and anxiety levels.” Another 2018 study by Helen Louise Brooks and colleagues found that “pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions.” In fact, one 2019 study showed that interacting with a dog can significantly reduce anxiety and improve mood over time. The researcher concluded “the results of this study indicate that interacting with a pet dog considerably reduces anxiety and feelings of sadness and improves happiness scores.”
Read also: How Your Pet Provides Stress Relief
Why introverts and pets belong together
Now you already know that there are plenty of good reasons why introverts and pets seem to be the best of friends and companions. However, that’s not all. Here are some other simpler reasons why introverts share such an amazing connection with animals:
- Pets don’t like small talk just like introverts. Unlike most people, your furry friend will sit with you in silence without making it feel awkward for even one second. There is never any pressure to talk or fill the silence.
- Introverts and pets are great together because animals allow us to be who we are. They have no expectations from us and only want us to love them, give them lots of food and take them out for a walk.
- Your pet will never judge or criticize you. They will never tell you how you screwed up a certain thing or make you feel bad for being yourself. Even when you are at your worst, they will still love you.
- A pet is a great source for companionship and emotional comfort for an introvert. They don’t force us to go out and socialize nor do they surprise us with sudden gatherings. In fact, they offer us comfort and companionship when we are lonely, when we need it the most.
- Our pets are the best reason for us to go home. What more can you want other than knowing that your best friend is waiting for you to get back home and welcome you with all the love you deserve?