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Good News: Cats Are Good For Your Health

Good News: Cats Are Good For Your Health

Scientists studying the human-animal bond have discovered there are health benefits of owning a cat. Yes, even that belittled “black cat” can be good for you!

1. Help your cardiovascular system

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    Studies at the University of Minnesota determined those who did not own cats were 30-40% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than cat owners were. (Sorry, dog owners, you don’t see the same benefit.) The chance of death from sudden heart attack is reduced, too, for cat owners. A study funded by the NIH determined that pet owners were more likely than non-owners to survive a heart attack, regardless of the severity of that attack.
    Other research suggests that owning a cat compares favorably with going on a low-salt diet for reducing heart disease risk.

    2. Help your immune system

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      The immune system gets a boost from the feeling you get just by owning a cat. Owning a cat may lead to improved social support, reduced depression, and more laughter, play and exercise – all of these help your immune system function better.
      And cats can tell when you’re not feeling well. They help you get better by coming to comfort you.

      3. Avoid allergies and respiratory problems

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        Children who are raised around cats (and dogs) develop immunity to allergens at an early age. The incidence of respiratory problems, including asthma, is reduced in children exposed to cats early in their lives.
        As a bonus, children raised with pets appear to develop greater empathy for the feelings of others and relate better to other people.

        4. Lower your blood pressure

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          Petting your cat is calming and reduces your blood pressure. Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo found lower blood pressure in the study subjects who owned pets compared with those who did not.

          5. Lower your cholesterol and triglycerides

          Diet and exercise go a long way toward reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but owning a cat helps, too. A 2006 Canadian study found owning a cat lowered cholesterol better than even some medications.

          6. Reduce your stroke risk

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            A University of Minnesota study determined cat ownership can reduce your stroke risk by up to one-third!

            7. Heal your bones and muscles

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              Cats purr at a frequency between 20-140 Hz, which is known to have therapeutic effects. Bones heal best at 25 Hz and 50 Hz frequencies (and 100 Hz and 200 Hz are also helpful). Soft tissues like muscles, tendons and ligaments heal faster at these frequencies. And infections and swelling are also healed in this frequency range.

              8. Reduce anxiety and stress

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                In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, with more work and less socializing, interacting with a pet brings play-time and creativity back into your life. Caring for your cat and cuddling with your cat take your mind off your own worries and reduce your levels of anxiety and stress.

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                9. Improve your mood, relieve depression

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                  Cats may have the reputation of being solitary, unsocial animals but cat owners know this is not the case. The love and companionship of a cat helps you feel better about life in general and can lift your mood and lessen feelings of depression.

                  10. Reduce loneliness

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                    Having a person-cat connection is a form of social interaction. If your group of friends is small, or far away, your cat can help relieve your feelings of loneliness. If you come home to an empty house at the end of the day, spending time with your cat can uplift your mood.
                    Families today are smaller and often far apart. Empty-nesters fulfill the need to nurture and find a reason to get up in the morning by owning a cat. The social support provided by your pet may encourage you to interact more with other people.

                    11. Therapy pets reduce medical expenses

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                      People who own cats make fewer doctor and hospital visits. When they do visit the hospital, they are discharged earlier. Overall, their medical expenses are reduced.
                      Therapy dogs are fairly common in nursing homes and special-needs schools, but there are therapy cats, too. Cats know who needs a good purring!

                      12. Exercise

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                        Cats don’t need as much exercise as dogs, but they still love to play. Make your cat your exercise buddy and help him bat a toy mouse around! Watch your cat and learn how to stretch! Observe how many times your cat stretches – and when he does it – and join in!
                        The “pet effect” can improve your quality of life. Cats may not be able to confer their “9 lives” onto their owners, but you can improve the one life you do have by sharing it with a cat!

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                        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                        1. Breathe

                        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                        2. Loosen up

                        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                        3. Chew slowly

                        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                        4. Let go

                        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                        It’s not. Promise.

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                        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                        5. Enjoy the journey

                        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                        6. Look at the big picture

                        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                        Will this matter to me…

                        • Next week?
                        • Next month?
                        • Next year?
                        • In 10 years?

                        Hint: No, it won’t.

                        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                        8. Practice patience every day

                        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                        Final thoughts

                        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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