Pets Provide Life Balance

      Executive Coach Victoria Trabosh teaches the value of life balance and how to create happiness as a way of influencing optimum health. One of the resources for joy, happiness, exercise and life balance is our beloved pets. All too often they sit on the sofa while we run around doing chores, working late, and stressing out. Here are some benefits of tapping into the unconditional love of our pets.

      Taking our pets for a simple walk around the block gets us moving, allows us to tap into nature, and forget our problems.
      Holding and playing with our pets releases endorphins which create happiness and relaxation. The simple act of petting an animalor even gazing at an aquariumresults in a drop in blood pressure.
      If you're shy and would love to meet someone, take a puppy on a walk! One of the key benefits of dogs is their ability to break down the barriers that keep humans from connecting. After all, how many times have you chatted easily with a stranger while petting their dog? You may meet someone - maybe the partner of your dreams!
      Our pets are a great reminder of the value of unconditional love. If you're feeling hurt by someone from something they're said, remember how we at times can use a stern voice with our pets (or even yell at them). It's clear we've hurt them, but how quickly do they "forgive" us. What if each of us learned the power of forgiveness and unconditional love through our pets?
      So many businesses are allowing pets into the workplace because of the joy they bring their owners. When dogs are around, many people feel relaxed and happy. In fact, many companies with reputations for being great places to work are dog friendly.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings showed that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels -- all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road. For those who have already experienced a heart attack, research also indicates that patients with a dog or a cat tend to have better recovery rates. These benefits are thought to be connected with pets' tendency to help reduce or at least control their owners' overall stress levels.

      What if pet ownership is not an option?
      For many reasons, people who love animals can't have them. Must they live with a broken heart? No! Ways to feed your need to love animals:

      1. Volunteer at a shelter even if it's only once a month.
      2. Support animal rights causes that you're passionate about.
      3. If you have a friend or family member, offer to pet sit at their place if they go on vacation or a weekend away.
      4. Have older neighbors that can't get out regularly to walk their dog? Offer to help them with a consistent (even if it must be less frequent than you'd like) walk schedule for their sweet pet.
      5. Volunteer at one of the many pet fundraisers that happen year round.