Get a Pet to Cut Your Stress

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on March 19, 2013

Dogw:tennisballs 2We all know broadcasting and voiceover work can be really stressful jobs, but I bet you don’t think of a pet as your therapist and personal trainer to help you deal with stress.  Well that’s what research studies are showing they are.

An article in Prevention magazine cites a study at SUNY Buffalo that showed when a pet is nearby our blood pressure lowers and our muscles relax.  We also get a good dose of the feel-good hormone, oxytocin.  In addition one of the damaging stress hormones in our bodies, cortisol, lowers.

Last week I was explaining all this to a client of mine who has just landed a network job in New York City.  I told him that his new stress level is going to be much more intense because of the network demands versus a local station.  Also NYC is a stressful city to live in compared to the medium-sized, mid western city he’s in now.  One ally he has, though, is his dog, Rooney.  He will be a great personal trainer with his demand to be walked everyday.  Petting and playing with him will also produce some of the good-feeling chemicals described above.

What if you don’t have a dog?  Certainly cats, rabbits, and even hamsters can be petted.  But get this.  Even stroking a pet snake produced the feel-good hormones in test subjects.

So get yourself a pet to love or make the most of the one you have.  In the long run it’s cheaper than hiring a personal trainer and a therapist and less complicated than some human relationships!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Scott March 20, 2013 at 11:55 am

There’s so much truth in this. I know when I had my dog seeing him after a tough day at the office always made me feel better.

Ann S. Utterback March 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

You’re so right, Marc. When my cat gets in my lap I can feel the tension melt away! Chester is better than hypnosis 🙂

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