Coping with grief is a difficult and different process for everyone. One may experience different phases of grief that include feeling different kinds of emotions such as sorrow, anger, guilt, and fear.
Many tools have been proven to help people manage grief such as support of family, counselling therapy, and support groups. One tool that is not known by many is therapy pets and animals. When a grieving person is overwhelmed with emotions, therapy animals provide comfort and support.
More and more funeral companies are offering such services and also provide therapy dogs for the memorial/funeral service.
Here is how pets and animals help us in dealing with grief:
1. Pets Sense your emotions
Your pets are intuitive to energies whether sad or happy. They will probably sense that you are in grief and will sit beside you or just be there with you. For example, when a dog sees someone crying they will sit on their feet or lick the person’s face until their presence is acknowledged. Their way of love is unique!
2. Pets are great for mental health
Being around animals and pets improves one’s overall mental health. Petting and stroking them increases dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins in our brains, which leaves us feeling happier and more content.
Since the people dealing with grief are experiencing emotions of sorrow and loneliness, pets and animals make for the perfect companion.
3. Pets offer social benefits
When we are dealing with grief we may not feel like communicating with another human. In such cases having a pet helps reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation. They fulfill one’s emotional needs of love, security, and companionship. Taking care of your pet, and taking them out on walks, forces you to take care of yourself too.
4. Pets offer physical benefits when dealing with grief
Another reason that animals and pets help in coping with grief is that they offer physical benefits. Ownership of pets is related to a reduced risk of heart disease and lower stress levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Physical health in return helps one to deal with and manage grief the right way.