Reduce Your Stress with a Dog or Cat Friend

The feeling of being welcomed home every day by a dog or cat is something that many pet owners love. Research shows that pet ownership reduces stress and anxiety. Life is stressful, and stress and anxiety can adversely impact your health.

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Reduce Your Stress with a Dog or Cat Friend
4 Min Read January 20th, 2022 Updated:February 11th, 2022

Life is stressful before the COVID-19 virus crisis. Today, life is very stressful for many people, and when you are age 40 and beyond, the added stress can spike your blood pressure and adversely impact your health and well-being. 

Do you know you are suffering from stress? How do you cope with your stress? Understanding how stress impacts your life is the first step in doing something about it to improve your overall health.

Stress does several things to your body, including making your heart beat harder and faster. As a result of your fast-beating heart, it can increase your blood pressure. Stress can make it even harder to breathe, and if you have pre-existing respiratory problems like asthma or COPD, stress will worsen your condition.

You may have more frequent and severe headaches, frequent insomnia, muscle pain, and fatigue are all symptoms of stress. These are some of the physical issues of stress, but there are mental issues as well.

Stress Creates Physical and Emotional Problems

Some people with stress have anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Often the mental issues of stress get ignored despite having a detrimental impact on your overall health.

How do you ease stress? You can avoid the stressful aspects of your life, but for most people, that is difficult to do if the stress is coming from things out of your control. It is hard to change jobs or get rid of your boss. There can be stressful aspects of your family relationships. Concerns about world events, COVID-19, and the economy are also out of our control. The stressful items in life we have no control over in life are the ones that can make life harder and disrupt the peace of mind we all seek. 

Dogs and Cats as Stress Fighters

There are ways to ease the stress. Pets are fast becoming a way for many people to cope in a stressful world. Dogs and cats are wonderful in helping us through stress, anxiety, and depression. These animals become our companions, make us less lonely, and help us stay active. Check out this Cat Website for more information about cats. 

A picture of a dog and a cat sitting together.

Dogs and cats will not judge you - well, some people say cats ARE judging you, but we will never know!

Animals can serve as a source of comfort and support. Therapy dogs are especially good at this. They're sometimes brought into hospitals or nursing homes to help reduce patients' stress and anxiety.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) tell us that interacting with animals can reduce the levels of cortisol in our body (a stress-related hormone) and lower our blood pressure. Other studies, according to NIH, that our pets can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost mood.

"Dogs are very present. If someone is struggling with something, they know how to sit there and be loving. Their attention is focused on the person all the time," says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician, and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

Many Benefits of Living with a Pet

When you get home and are greeted by your pet and its wagging tail, you understand the pet effect. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says you get many benefits when living with a pet, including constant companionship, love, and affection. 

A picture of two cats sitting together under a blanket.

The ADAA points to a survey of pet owners where 74% reported mental health improvements from pet ownership. The survey also says that friends and family members of a pet owner improved mental health when they owned a pet.

Old-Age and Stress

Many of us stress over old age. Aging happens and being prepared will improve our stress and reduce the stress and anxiety of our loved ones. There is a financial issue with aging and long-term care. Care costs are rising quickly nationwide. But family caregivers, who are often adult children, are often thrust into the role despite being untrained and unprepared. 

Caregivers are often so focused on balancing their job of being a caregiver with their other responsibilities, like their jobs and families, that they ignore their health, including mental health.

When caregiving becomes too difficult, physically, and emotionally, the result is for the care recipient to be moved to a long-term care facility or professional care is sought to come into the home. Professional care, either at home or in a facility, is expensive. Care costs will become even more overwhelming in the decades to come.

You and see the current and future cost of long-term health care services by visiting the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Preparing for Costs and Burdens of Aging

For many, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance helps reduce the stress and anxiety that longevity can bring. You will have the funding for your choice of care services - even at home. Your loved ones would have the time to be family instead of caregivers.

The majority of those purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance are in their 50s. 

No one thing will reduce the stress in your lifetime. However, taking several steps like including a pet in your family and adding LTC Insurance will ease some of the stress and anxiety that life brings us daily.

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About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

LTC News Contributor Linda Kople

Linda Kople

Contributor since October 31st, 2017

Editor's Note

Reduce some of the stress of getting older with affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. The consequences of declining health and aging create both a financial strain and a family crisis.

When you own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you own a solution that will give you and your family peace of mind. The policy provides tax-free funds so you can choose the type of long-term care services you wish to have, including in-home care.

You are protecting income and assets from the high costs of long-term care, but just as important, your loved ones will have less stress and anxiety and will have the time to be family instead of being a caregiver.

The ideal time to get coverage in place is in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy reasonably good health. Seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you shop for the proper coverage. 

Seek Professional Advice

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Planning Resources and Tools Available on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

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