11 Reasons To Get An Emotional Support Animal
by Haley Mills · July 20, 2023
Discover the benefits of having an emotional support animal. Get 11 reasons why you need one now!
Are you looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety in your life? Do you need assistance with coping mechanisms or dealing with PTSD symptoms? Consider getting an emotional support animal (ESA).
An ESA is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefits to individuals with mental or emotional disabilities. Unlike service animals, ESAs do not require specialized training and can be any animal as long as they provide comfort and support to their owner. Here are 11 reasons why getting an ESA can be a life-changing decision.
1. Emotional Support Animals Reduced Stress and Anxiety
If you often struggle with stress and anxiety, getting an emotional support animal can be a game-changer in reducing those overwhelming feelings. Studies have shown that simply petting an animal can lower blood pressure and release feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin. This can lead to decreased anxiety and an overall sense of calmness. Additionally, having an emotional support animal can provide a sense of companionship and purpose, which can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Furthermore, emotional support animals can also provide a sense of routine and structure in daily life. This can be especially helpful for those with anxiety disorders who may struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the unpredictability of their emotions. A routine with an animal can provide a sense of stability and predictability that can be incredibly comforting. In short, getting an emotional support animal can be a powerful tool in reducing stress and anxiety in daily life.
2. ESAs Improved Mood and Emotional State
You’ll notice a significant improvement in your mood and emotional state when you have an emotional support animal by your side. These animals are trained to provide comfort and support to their owners, which can help reduce feelings of sadness, loneliness, and depression. Studies have shown that people who own emotional support animals are less likely to experience negative emotions and more likely to feel happy and content.
In addition to providing emotional support, these animals can also help distract you from negative thoughts or feelings. Caring for an animal requires focus and attention, which can help take your mind off of any stressors or worries you may be experiencing. Plus, petting or interacting with your animal can release feel-good hormones in your body, such as dopamine and oxytocin, which can improve your overall mood and emotional state.
3. Increased Socialization and Communication
With an emotional support animal, your socialization and communication skills can improve significantly as you’ll have a constant companion who will help you connect with other people. Having an animal by your side can make you feel less isolated and more confident in social situations. People may be more approachable and willing to engage in conversation when you have a furry friend with you.
In addition, taking care of an emotional support animal can provide you with opportunities to interact with others. Whether taking your dog for a walk or bringing your cat to the vet, you may meet other animal lovers and start a conversation. This can lead to new friendships and a sense of belonging in a community. Overall, an emotional support animal can greatly improve your social skills and connect with others.
4. Enhanced Sense of Comfort and Security With An ESA
Experience an enhanced sense of comfort and security with an emotional support animal by your side, providing unconditional love and support during difficult times. These animals are trained to provide emotional support to their owners, helping them deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. They can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility, providing a comforting presence that can help people feel more secure and at ease.
Emotional support animals can also help people feel more comfortable in social situations, as they provide a sense of companionship and support. This can be particularly helpful for people with social anxiety or other mental health issues that make it difficult to interact with others. With an emotional support animal by your side, you can feel more confident and at ease, knowing that you have a loyal companion who will be there for you no matter what.
5. Assistance with Coping Mechanisms
Assistance in coping with anxiety and stress can be provided by having an emotional support animal. These animals are not just pets; they are trained to provide comfort and support to their owners who may be struggling with mental health issues. An emotional support animal can help reduce anxiety levels, lower stress, and provide a calming effect that can be incredibly beneficial for those who suffer from these conditions.
One of the key ways in which an emotional support animal can assist with coping mechanisms is through their ability to provide a sense of focus and purpose. The responsibility of caring for an animal can help to provide structure to a person’s day, as well as help to distract them from anxious or stressful thoughts. Additionally, petting or cuddling with an emotional support animal can release endorphins that help boost mood and reduce stress levels. Overall, the assistance provided by an emotional support animal can be incredibly valuable for individuals who are struggling with anxiety and stress.
6. Reduced Symptoms of Depression
Reduced symptoms of depression can be experienced by individuals who have an emotional support animal. Depression can be a debilitating condition that affects a person’s mental and physical health. However, studies have shown that the presence of an emotional support animal can reduce symptoms of depression in individuals. This is because emotional support animals provide companionship, unconditional love, and a sense of purpose to their owners.
Caring for an emotional support animal can provide a sense of routine and structure to a person’s day, which can be especially helpful for those struggling with depression. Additionally, emotional support animals can help their owners to feel more connected to the world around them, which can be difficult for individuals with depression. By providing comfort and emotional support, these animals can be a valuable tool in helping individuals manage their symptoms of depression and improve their overall quality of life.
7. Improved Physical Health
Having an emotional support animal can greatly improve your physical health, providing comfort and encouraging physical activity through walks and playtime. Owning a pet requires being active, whether it’s playing with them or taking them for a walk, which can lead to better physical health by increasing your heart rate, improving blood pressure, and reducing the risk of obesity. Pets also provide comfort and relaxation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, leading to a healthier mind and body.
In addition to the physical benefits, emotional support animals can also help those with chronic conditions manage their symptoms. Studies have shown that having a pet can reduce chronic pain symptoms, such as arthritis, by distracting individuals from their pain. Pets can also help lower blood pressure and improve heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Overall, having an emotional support animal can greatly improve physical health and overall well-being, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their health and quality of life.
8. Increased Sense of Responsibility
Taking care of an emotional support animal can be a great way to increase your sense of responsibility. When an animal relies on you for their daily needs, it can give you a sense of purpose and meaning in your life. This added responsibility can also help to improve your overall mental health and well-being, as you have something positive to focus on and care for each day.
In addition, taking care of an emotional support animal can also provide a sense of fulfillment. Seeing your animal happy and healthy can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. This can also help to boost your self-esteem and confidence, as you can care for another living being successfully. Overall, getting an emotional support animal can greatly increase your sense of responsibility and fulfillment in your life.
9. Assistance with PTSD Symptoms
An emotional support animal can be a valuable companion for those struggling with PTSD symptoms, providing comfort and support during difficult times. PTSD can cause a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. Emotional support animals can help alleviate these symptoms by providing a sense of security and calming presence.
For example, a dog can be trained to sense when their owner is experiencing anxiety or a flashback and provide physical contact and comfort. This can help the individual feel more grounded and present in the moment. Additionally, the responsibility of taking care of an emotional support animal can provide a sense of purpose and routine, which can be helpful for those struggling with PTSD.
Overall, emotional support animals can be a valuable tool for those with PTSD, providing comfort, support, and a sense of responsibility. It is important to note that emotional support animals are not the same as service animals and do not have the same legal protections. However, many places, including airlines and housing facilities, provide accommodations for emotional support animals.
10. Improved Quality of Life
Your life can be vastly improved with an emotional support animal’s companionship and unconditional love. These animals are not just pets, but they are also considered as a form of therapy. They can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and give their owners comfort, security, and purpose. Emotional support animals can also help reduce loneliness and isolation, especially for people who live alone or have limited social interactions.
Moreover, emotional support animals can help their owners become more active and engaged in their daily lives. They can encourage them to go for walks, play, and interact with others. This can lead to an overall improvement in physical and mental health and an increase in self-esteem and confidence. In short, emotional support animals can make a significant difference in the quality of life of their owners, providing them with emotional support, companionship, and a sense of purpose in life.
11. Legal Rights and Protections for ESA Owners
Legal protection and rights for ESA owners include the ability to live with their animals in housing that otherwise prohibits pets. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires landlords and property managers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, including allowing them to have their emotional support animal in their homes. This means that even if a building has a no-pet policy, an ESA owner can keep their animal with them as long as they provide proper documentation from their mental health professional and follow any reasonable rules and regulations the landlord sets.
In addition to housing, ESA owners also have certain rights regarding air travel. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) allows individuals with disabilities to bring their emotional support animal with them on flights, free of charge and without having to be placed in cargo. However, airlines may require advanced notice and documentation, so it’s important for ESA owners to check with their airlines before traveling. Knowing these legal protections and rights can provide peace of mind and make it easier for individuals with mental health conditions to live their lives with their emotional support animal by their side.
There are numerous benefits to having an emotional support animal. From reducing stress and anxiety to enhancing socialization and communication, an ESA can greatly improve one’s emotional and mental well-being. Not only do they provide a sense of comfort and security, but they can also assist with coping mechanisms and PTSD symptoms. The sense of responsibility that comes with owning an ESA can also lead to a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in life.
It’s important to note that as an ESA owner, you have legal rights and protections. With proper documentation, you can have your ESA with you in housing and on flights, without being charged extra fees. Overall, an emotional support animal can be a valuable addition to one’s life and provide much-needed support and companionship.
Last Updated: August 28, 2023
Hi there! I’m Haley, a passionate content writer, and an absolute dog enthusiast. My world currently revolves around a 3-year-old Australian Shepherd, who isn’t just my best friend but also my greatest teacher. Through him, I am constantly inspired to explore deeper into the vast world of pet nutrition, safety, training techniques, wellness, and happiness.
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