Pets Can Help You Live A Happier & Healthier Life

We have known for a long time that vital relationships are a key to a happy, healthy, and long life. The joy that we as humans get by interacting with each other, through friendship and fellowship, is something that picks us up when we are down and that can keep us motivated and focused when times are hard.

What, though, if you are just not a people person? What if you find social interaction hard, be it for physical or mental reasons, and that desire to put yourself out there and meet other people just doesn’t exist?

According to new research published in May 2019, the answer is as simple as getting a pet and treating it like a human.

According to research conducted by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University, loneliness is as dangerous to human health as if you were to smoke 15 cigarettes a day. This puts loneliness up there with more talked about issues such as obesity in its risk to human health and quality of life.

Human-animal interaction research manager at Mars’ Waltham Centre of Pet Nutrition, Nancy Gee, had this to say about interactions between humans and their pets.

“When we think about loneliness, we need attachment figures and pets meet that need,” says Gee. “You don’t have to worry about confidentiality or judgment. It just is what it is.”

It is that lack of judgment that can make pets so important when looking for vital relationships to fill your life with. One of the major reasons that people suffer from social anxiety or struggle in social situations is that feeling of being judged for what they are saying or doing. With a pet that judgment just doesn’t come as they love unconditionally in their own way.

“The greatest gift of animals is they remind us we can love and be loved unconditionally,” says former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Murthy, according to his testimony on the subject, would sometimes be teased by other staff members about the pictures he would post on various social media sites of his cats. Those cats, though, would open up avenues for him to have vital relationships with other people as they immediately had something in common they could talk about or bond over.

An online survey of just over 2,000 people, which included pet owners, found that one-in-four owners got a pet because they knew that it would help their mental health. Interestingly, this number increased to over 50% when just taking into account people over the age of 55.

Research still needs to be conducted into if pets make people healthier or if it is just generally healthier people getting pets. Either way, it seems clear that having a pet, be it a dog, a bird, or something a little more unique, is a great way to live a happier and more fulfilled life.

Article by Steve Wright
Independent Writer


Preparing For A Healthy Lifestyle


Before you start the diets and exercises here is how to set goals you can stick to for a healthier lifestyle:

Step One: Settle on the What

What do you want to change? Whether it’s an overall lifestyle change or specifics (lose weight, trim fat, get more muscle, or achieve a fitness goal), you can’t set goals if you don’t know what you want to achieve.

Step Two: Get Specific & Realistic

Many goals fail by not being specific enough. You could say “I’m going to eat healthier this year,” or “I’m going to exercise more,” but what does this really mean? If you don’t get specific, you won’t know when you’ve hit your goals, which is your major motivator.

Secondly, your goals need to be realistic. Weight loss goals need to be achievable (5-10% of body weight), exercise goals should be attainable, healthy eating goals shouldn’t feel like punishment. The more realistic your goal, the easier it will be to attain. Once you reach that goal, you can build on your success.

Step Three: Break it Down

Having a specific goal is great, but if it’s too big, it will feel unachievable, which means the second it feels out of reach you’ll want to abandon it all together. By breaking your goals down, you set small achievements that will help you stay motivated. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, then losing 2 pounds is your first hurdle.

Step Four: Plan for Setbacks

Everyone has setbacks along the way, look at nearly every pro athlete who ever had an injury. The key is to understand that setbacks happen, and you can come back from them. The second step is to identify what caused the setback. If your healthy eating goal gets set back by unhealthy options, find new healthy options that satisfy your cravings. If your exercise goal is failing, change up your routine.

Step Five: Keep a Record

It can be hard to stay on track and see successes as they happen, so keep track. Even if you’re looking to simply drop pounds as a healthy goal, keep track of exercise and what you eat. Not only will you find small successes (such as trimming inches), you can also identify where there might be room for improvement.

Step Six: Get Help!

You don’t have to tackle your healthy living goals alone – get help! Meal planning, exercise routines, and inspiration are easy to find, affordable, and will increase your chance of success. With a bit of planning and some dedication to your new healthy living goals, you can end on a high note.

If you are looking for guidance with a healthy plant-based diet, look no further than 22 Days Nutrition. They are here to help with Vegan Meal Delivery and plant protein bars and powders. You can pick up a copy of The 22-Day Revolution and The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook at your local bookstore and at Amazon.