12 reasons pets are good for your mental health

Feeling down or lonely? Lacking confidence? Shy?

Have you considered getting a pet?

In 2011, American researchers published an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology exploring the connection between pet ownership and well-being. They studied over 370 people spread among 3 studies, and what they found was that pet owners tend to fare better than those without pets.

Here are 12 mental health benefits to owning a pet, according to the study:

  1. Pet owners have greater self esteem
  2. Pet owners exercise more and are more physically fit
  3. Pet owners are less lonely
  4. Pet owners are more conscientious
  5. Pet owners are more extroverted
  6. Pet owners are less fearful
  7. Pet owners are less preoccupied
  8. Pet owners have a positive sense of self
  9. Pet owners have less depression
  10. Pet owners are more subjectively happy
  11. Pet owners have less perceived stress
  12. Pets can mitigate the negative effects of rejection

So, if you don’t already have a pet and your mental health is not where you’d like it to be, consider pet ownership in your holistic mental health treatment.