Do you want be healthier and live longer? Try to show more compassion to animals. Why? Because studies found out that showing compassion to animals has been proven to increase the quality of your physical and psychological health.
Not only to animals, but showing compassion in general will do the work. Connecting with other beings in a meaningful way, whether it is human or animal, can benefit you faster recovery from illness. And in addition to faster healing, compassion may even increase your lifespan.
It Is Scientific
Many scientists have tried to prove that being compassionate can increase your mental and physical health. And apparently, none of them has proven the statement wrong. But how can just simply being compassionate makes you healthy?
A research done by Sara Konrath from University of Michigan and Stephanie Brown from Stony Brook University tried to find out the answer, which is just a simple word: motivation. The research found out that people who actively volunteered during their lives live longer than those who didn’t.
And among those who live longer, most of them participated in volunteering acts in altruistic manner rather than self-serving purposes. So, to get the benefit, you need to not only do the good deed, but also do it in altruistic motivation.
Another research done by Barbara Frederickson and Steve Cole found out that people whose happiness is based on hedonistic lifestyle have higher cellular inflammation level. While those people whose happiness is based on compassion to others have shown the opposite.
Cellular inflammation is the root of cancer and other dangerous illnesses. So, in other word, this research told us that showing compassion to other human and animals will help us stay away from cancer.
Keep The Stress Away
Stress is a wide-spread mental health problem human face nowadays. A study conducted by American Psychological Association showed that more than 70 percent of people on United States were showing signs of stress, both physically and mentally.
Believe it or not, rescuing a dog or a cat from shelter can greatly reduce the stress level. Helping animal, that you later live with, is something deeply compassionate and altruistic. Not to mention that your subconscious mind will always remind you that you have done something your pet cannot reply.
Having quality time with pets also may reduce stress level. As we know, stress is the gate for many other illnesses both physically and mentally. Just 15 minutes playing with your dog or cat can increase the dopamine and serotonin hormones in your brain, making you happier and healthier.
Depression and anxiety are also closely related to more self-centered minds. They can be cured by distracting the self-focused minds to other-focused activities, such as volunteering or as simply as taking care of pets.
Walking your dog is a kind of physical activity, which is healthy for your body. Playing with your dogs is also a physical activity, and both of those can be counted as simple exercises. Thus, treating your dog well may also give you some health benefits.
Routinely doing exercises will lower your blood pressure that later leads to lower risk of heart disease. Thus, because walking your dog and playing with it can be counted as physical exercises, doing it routinely will make you less prone to heart disease.
Self-employed farmers are also known to live longer than other trades, and also healthier. Kenji Horiguchi and Masahiko Genma from Waseda University conducted a study whether that statemen was true, and indeed it is proven true.
Farmers tend to live longer by 2 to 8 years compared to other jobs. One of the reasons why they live longer than others is because they are routinely exercising. Their daily routine activities include wrangling cattle and feeding animals in their farms, which need a lot of effort to do.
So, it is not only about taking care of your dog or cat, but every other animal that you can take care of. You can exercise in many ways by showing compassion to other beings. Maybe even planting some flower in your garden to give bees a place to collect nectar can also be counted as exercising.
Boosting Immune System
Our immune system works as our shield from diseases and illness that come from outside. Many viral illnesses like flu and infection can be prevented if we have a strong immune system protecting our body. So, boosting our immune system is important for us.
There are many ways to boost your immune system, including spending some time with your pets. A study conducted by Mao Shing Ni, PhD, found out that playing and laughing with your cats and dogs is a good way to improve our immune system.
“Numerous studies have shown that having pets helps lower our stress levels, decrease blood pressure, benefit our cholesterol, improve our mood, and boost our immunity – in other words, lengthen our life span,” Mao said.
Another study also claimed that people with dogs visit their doctor less often than people who don’t. Thus, taking a good care to your pets or every other animal possible will help you build stronger body. A “good boy” a day, keeps the doctor away.
Animals Return The Compassion
For those who are physically impaired, sometimes they need a boost of hope in their lives to avoid getting depressed and anxiety. While like what was mentioned above, animals can help getting rid of depression and anxiety.
Having a pet, like a service dog can be a great boost for their dwindling hope. Not only distracting the physically impaired ones from being self-focused, but also because they will also be loved by their pets in return of the love they give.
Animals may return the compassion we give, and being loved makes us feel hopeful. Once dogs and cats are accustomed to their owners, they will always love their owners 24 hours a day. And knowing that you are being constantly loved is a good shield from depression and anxiety.
Thus, giving you more hope and possibilities to live longer on earth.