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Happiness Tip: Hang Out with Your Pet

We recently adopted a dog, which has given me a new perspective on how animals bring happiness to humans. We were certainly happy before we met Buster (pictured below), but rarely have I seen a sentient bring so much sheer joy into a family.

Buster PortraitI’m not surprised that research shows that greater health and happiness can come from caring for a pet. One study tracked “hypertensive stockbrokers” who adopted a cat or dog; caring for their new animals lowered their blood pressure more than prescribed medicine! And you may have heard about the study that found that dog-owners tend to get more exercise than folks without a dog. Exercise is, of course, a sure way to boost health and happiness.

Take Action: This week, find a cat to pet, a dog to walk, or a fish to feed. If you feel noticeably calmer after the experience, consider adopting!

Join the Discussion: Do your pets — or the idea of pets, if you don’t have them — bring more or less joy into your life? What about stress? Share in the comments.