10. Spend more time cuddling with animals.
The faithful companionship of a beloved pet has a positive effect on an individual’s overall health and wellbeing. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and a lower risk of heart disease than non-pet owners. These health affects can be attributed to the physical exercise we get from walking and playing with our pets, as well as the stress-reducing effects of pet companionship.
It’s been scientifically proven that spending time petting or snuggling with animals relieves stress and anxiety in humans, including humans with anxiety disorders. Cuddling with a beloved human or pet releases oxytocin in the brain; this so-called love hormone improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety. Cuddling also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which tends to be elevated in people with anxiety.