Here Are My Thoughts on Well-Being
I have been doing a lot of thinking about animals and health, and I understand how bringing a cat or dog into a healthcare facility such as a nursing home can raise the spirits of the people who are living there.
However, I think there are other options – beyond animals – that can be looked into, to help improve the well-being of those struggling with illness, be that mental or physical. We can look at what it is in animals that improves health – the way they make us laugh, get up and move around. And, we can also look to diet - let’s start here.
Can Diet Improve Well Being?
Have you ever had a bad day and then had a junk food meal at the end of it? Maybe you were too tired or down to cook, and wanted to indulge in fatty or sugary cravings. You think this food is going to make you feel better, but from my experience, after I indulge, a few minutes later I feel worse than before.
Diet has been proven to have an effect on mental health. According to Mental Health UK, the effect of diet on mental health has been looked at in various studies. In many studies the outcome has been found that “a poor diet (with high levels of saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and processed food products) is linked to poorer mental health.”
I would suggest going for the healthy option when you have a sugar craving, such as indulging in a piece of fruit. Or looking at things like peanut butter or avocado when you want something fatty, you might start to notice some small changes in your mental well-being.
My Experience With Animals
Food can affect well-being. Laughter may also, and to help facilitate that laughter, an animal can be helpful.
I have two cats – as you know - Sammy and Joey. Two little rescues that have just lit up my life. I don't know how I survived 16 years without them. I've always had animals. On days I feel low energy, I just sit down and watch them play. A quick snuggle with one of them just picks up my spirits. And crazy enough, I have an allergy to them. But I don't care. Because they make me laugh. Laughter is like medicine for me, and I feel it pick up my spirits.
So if you are feeling down in the dumps, feeling like you can't get out of bed, maybe it's time to get an animal that you have to focus on. Take the focus off yourself. Shelter Chic is where I got my Joey. They take animals that are in more dire straits than you are - so many animals that need a home who have been mistreated, hurt, or confused by their families - that just the idea of giving one of these little guys a home can pick up your spirits.
You do something good for them, and they do something good for you.
Funny how the world works!