An emotional support animal (ESA) is more than a pet–it can be a rock, a companion, a source of comfort, and so much more. Many people who suffer from trauma or mental health disorders find solace in caring for and interacting with an emotional support animal.
There are a number of benefits that an ESA can bring its companion. When survivors opt for an emotional support animal, they improve faster and are able to manage their symptoms better than those who do not have one.
All in all, ESA’s are vital to mental health and traumatic recovery! This article will focus on some of the top benefits of obtaining one.
Helps with stress and anxiety reduction
Emotional support animals provide comfort and motivation to individuals who struggle with severe stress and anxiety. When interacting and connecting with an emotional support animal, people often unknowingly use mindfulness techniques and anxiety reduction techniques.
Connecting with an emotional support animal allows someone suffering from anxiety and stress to:
- take their mind off of their symptoms and focus on other things like mindful breathing
- stay present and in the moment by focusing on the emotional support animal
- focus on tactile touch by petting their emotional support animal
When focusing on connecting with an emotional support animal, the person is able to stay present and active; sufferers won’t slip deeper and deeper into thoughts promoted by stress and anxiety.
Another benefit of connecting with an emotional support animal is forming a deep bond and continued companionship. Companionship is extremely beneficial to people who struggle with mental health disorders or are affected by disability.
Companionship can reduce loneliness, increase independence, and provide opportunities for socialization that emotional support animal owners may not have had before. Loneliness can be an underlying symptom of depression and other mental health disorders.
When a person connects with an emotional support animal, those feelings of loneliness can subside because the emotional support animal is always there, happy to greet and spend time with its owner.
An emotional support animal’s companionship can also promote socialization with other emotional support animal owners. When helping the emotional support animal socialize with other animals, ESA owners can find themselves socializing with other humans, and practicing social skills.
Promotes physical activity
A third benefit of connecting with emotional support animals is the promotion of physical activity. Part of caring for and connecting with an ESA is providing for them. Depending on the type of ESA animal, providing for them can include physical activity like walks and outdoor playtime.
Some ESAs require daily exercise; exercising daily can increase endorphins and reduce stress and anxiety. Increased endorphins can make you feel happy and less stressed during day to day activities.
In addition to exercise, spending time in nature with your ESA can offer an even stronger connection between an ESA and its owner by providing a shared love for an activity.
By forming this connection, the ESA owner has the opportunity to change up their scenery, stimulate their mind by experiencing new sights and sounds, and promote relaxation.
Instills a sense of purpose
Someone who struggles with mental health disorders or physical disability may feel like they lack a sense of purpose or belonging. It can be difficult to feel useless or worthless; feelings of uselessness or worthlessness are common among those with mental or physical disorders.
However, connecting with an ESA can provide someone with a sense of purpose. An ESA is dependent on its companion, meaning its companion must feed, water, exercise, and play with it on a daily basis.
Those struggling with depression or other mental health disorders will have a reason to get out of bed. Developing a close connection with their emotional support animal will overpower feelings of depression that may keep ESA owners inside or in their beds.
This sense of purpose can do wonders for an ESA owner; a sense of purpose can help someone feel the motivation and meaning they need to keep going every day and overcome their mental or physical disorder.
Forming a connection with an emotional support animal can be beneficial for recovery
In conclusion, forming a connection with an ESA can provide amazing benefits to an ESA owner. A connection with an ESA helps improve physical, mental, and emotional health. If you are struggling with mental health or physical disability it may be worthwhile to speak with a therapist or mental health professional about your eligibility for an ESA.
An ESA can help manage the symptoms of mental health and physical disability, provide a sense of purpose, promote exercise, and help you lead a beneficial and happy life. Help from emotional support animals should be considered carefully and undertaken in conjunction with traditional treatment such as talk therapy, physical therapy, and other treatments.