Self-esteem. It is one of those things that is essential for a human being to function at his best, yet, we only feel that importance in its absence. And while low self-esteem may not be reason enough to get an emotional support animal, it is often an accompanying symptom for a condition that is.
Which is rather strange, because more often than not, self-esteem is often the first aspect that a patient needs to improve on. A depressed individual will not see significant healing until self-esteem (morale) is improved. An improvement in self-image will almost always be the first step to solving severe emotional problems.
So, we already know that emotional support animals help improve a person’s self-esteem, but we rarely discuss how. This article is meant to fill that void. So, how do emotional support animals help individuals view themselves in a better light?
Cuddling Triggers Release Of Happy Neurotransmitters
Through an ESA’s companionship, those who are struggling with emotional disorders feel less lonely. Apart from mere physical presence, spending time petting or playing with an emotional support animal is bound to trigger your body to release neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
The former contributes toward the feeling of “being well”, which is linked to appetite, mood, sleep, and even how a person responds to social interactions. Dopamine, on the other hand, is responsible for the sensation of pleasure. These are the same neurotransmitters that the body produces when you smile.
ESAs Encourage Physical Activity
This is particularly true for working dogs. ESAs encourage play and physical exertion. Whether it’s in the form of playing catch with your dog, or simply walking your dog around the neighborhood, these seemingly trivial activities actually contribute greatly to heart health and they also trigger the production of endorphins, which, in turn, trigger a euphoric feeling.
They Fulfill The Need To Be Needed
It’s easy to view patients as “people in need”, so much so that we forget that people also need to be needed. To know that someone or something depends on them adds to self-worth as well as accountability. ESAs have to be taken good care of by their owners and in return, they provide comfort for their own in a synergistic relationship.
They Create An Opportunity For Social Interaction
In the same way that people love to talk about their pets, so too, do ESA owners love to talk about their companion animal. The experience, as a whole, becomes something that other people can relate to. Though relationships aren’t guaranteed with every social interaction, the fact that there are other people that the owner can relate to already makes the world a less lonely place. This is especially important with children with special needs who have difficulty interacting with other people. However, it’s important to keep your child safe at all times when dealing with any animal. It’s also important to learn about an Indianapolis dog bite attorney, where you can find one and how one can assist you if in case your child gets bitten by someone else’s dog or if your dog bites someone else.
It’s easy to simply say that emotional support animals help bring comfort to a person who suffers from an emotional disorder. But to know how that is achieved is what allows us to further increase the effectiveness of any treatment. ESAs deserved to be viewed as more than something to cuddle with. They bring so much more than mere comfort. They help people become at peace with themselves by teaching them to love themselves.