Low self-esteem is sometimes rooted in disturbing childhood experiences including prolonged separation from parents, sexual, emotional or physical abuse, and neglect. Feelings of oppression can lead to a low self-esteem that can result in negative life events, such as getting divorced or losing a job.
These events also induce a feeling of lack of control that is particularly visible in victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. People who feel they have no control over their lives feel helpless and are likely to view the world as a hostile place to live in by considering themselves as victims. As a result, they become incapable of expressing their opinions.
If an individual feels he has poor self-esteem or needs emotional assistance, having an ESA dog or cat around can be a simple way of boosting their confidence. Apart from exercising, adopting healthier food options and traveling, keeping an emotional support animal is one of the most successful ways to improve overall mental health. Let’s see how an emotional support animal (a dog or a cat) help you build a good self-esteem.
Offers Emotional Support
There are millions of benefits of having an emotional support animal for both physical and mental health. People who have emotional support animals are happier and loyal. Pets give a sense of assurance and love which make the handlers feel good about themselves.
A good snuggling session with an emotional support animal provides people with good mental energy and they are less likely to feel lonely. It results in the release of serotonin (a chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance), dopamine (a neurotransmitter for controlling the brains reward and pleasure centers) and a decrease in cortisol, high levels of which partially shut down the immune system.
Encourages Physical Activity
The American Heart Association has discovered a strong link between reduced heart diseases and having a pet (particularly dogs). People who keep pets are likely to live longer with fewer heart complications and balanced levels of triglycerides and blood pressure. This improved physical health leads to an active participation is sports or other life activities. The more physically active an individual is, the less likely he is to suffer have poor self-esteem.
Supports against Depression
Research shows that touching an animal reduces stress levels. The effect of petting an animal gently has also a soothing effect on the animal as their heart rate slows down. Medical experts reveal the simple act of petting an animal can cause a person’s blood pressure levels to drop significantly. A balanced blood pressure level guarantees that you view all life situations with a cool head. This helps you combat depression that otherwise can lead to bad self-esteem later.
Encourages Social Interaction
An emotional support animal, whether it is a cat, dog or any other animal, helps people who have a poor self-image to build a better self-esteem. People who keep pets or emotional support animals can talk to other people about their experiences before and after having an emotional support animal. There are several online communities and forums where people share their experiences with each other. This helps them have a bigger social circle where they can form new friendships and connections to overcome social awkwardness.
Over 70 million American households have a pet with a large number of people treating them as their family members. Pets as emotional support animals fulfill our longing for affection and attention. Their love is unconditional and they teach us to become responsible and compassionate. The more we appreciate the human-animal bond, the more we are capable of using it as a way of improving our self-esteem.