Stress is a part of every life no matter who you are or where your life has taken you. It is an integral part of our nervous system’s survival system. Stress is the animal reflexes of our body responding to stimuli that spell danger. That could be a loud sound, an alert that we have an email from our boss, watching the news, having a close call in traffic, or a triggering event that is unique to our experience. Adrenalin floods our system, our muscles get tight and ready, our heart races, our chest may feel heavy, our body responds often before our minds can even get to the scene.
The year 2020 has been an odyssey for so many of us. Unforeseen stressors have been upon us in ways that most of us haven’t seen in our lifetime. In my clinical and my social interactions during these times a common theme keeps emerging when the subject of stress arises: the love, comfort, and pure example of joyful living that our pets have provided during these unprecedented times.
It isn’t as if we haven’t loved our pets all along. It’s just that lately they seem to be providing such a vital source of delight and unconditional love. It is, in fact, scientifically proved that petting and snuggling with a pet can give the nervous system a lovely oxytocin bath, or a rush of the “love hormone” that makes us feel deep connection and relaxation. Pets are actually great medicine! Our relationship with pets also reminds us that we are all nature’s graceful creatures, and not machines. Animals in our care teach us unconditional love every day that we spend with them.
So, what do we do when our own stress causes our animal family members to feel stress too? How can we be there for them when things like a thunder storm, seasonal fireworks, travel, a sudden household shift, or an illness or death creates change that they do not understand? Many animal lovers are finding that Hemp and CBD oils (that are pet approved) work wonders in these situations. Our pets can have irrational fear responses just like we can, and sometimes taking the edge off of their high alert status can allow the other comforting stimuli to be effective again, like love and kind words and treats. These remedies can also help with other animal ailments like sore muscles and joints. I have placed a link below to the Holistic Hemp and CBD rich remedies that I have found most effective in my own pets. A few of these remedies are human and animal approved, so you can find some calm together! As with all new additions to your pet’s life, I recommend you consult your Veterinarian.
The bottom line is, our pets are a much needed and healing source of joy and connection. Stress reminds us that we and our pets have common nervous responses and that we might share the energy of stress with them more than we would like. Why not press “paws” together and acknowledge that all of us could use a little rest and restoration. I hope these remedies help restore calm in each of you. Remember to breathe deeply, and may peace find you and yours wherever you are.