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Keeping A Dog Can Help You Become The Best Version Of Yourself, Study Finds

Keeping A Dog Can Help You Become The Best Version Of Yourself, Study Finds

Dogs really do make this world a better place. A recent research was conducted to survey over 1,000 Americans online to find out just “how good” our dogs are for us. According to the results, most dog parents have learned to be more patient, selfless, and loving. Keep reading to see how having a dog can really benefit your life:

1. We are the most patient

    Dogs are pretty smart, just not smart enough to read our minds. It’s up to us to teach them right from wrong and good from bad. You must remain consistent in your praise and punishment. Getting them to learn commands and to stay off the furniture requires everyday patience. No vacations or half days, but you’ll become a better person for it.

    2. They get us more excited to get up in the morning

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      It’s hard getting up in the morning. Hearing our alarms go off is something we dread. However, 71% percent of people from the study reported that they had an increased feeling of overall happiness when having a pet to wake up to in the morning. One in four of those same people said they didn’t feel as inclined to hit the snooze button because they got excited to get up and begin their day with their pup.

      3. What are boundaries? We don’t have any

        Having a dog really breaks down most of our barriers. Well over 43% of people said they let their dog follow them into the bathroom. If you get to watch them go every day, it would only seem right for them to invade your privacy as well. It’s all out of love, and love has no boundaries.

        4. We aren’t comfortable until the dog is

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          Some of us are guilty of sharing the bed with our dogs. Over a third of owners said they will cater to their pup to ensure they get a great night sleep, even if that means they’re sleeping on the edge of the bed. We put up with the snoring and lack of space to spread out, a sacrifice over half said they would not tolerate for another human being. If that’s not love, I’m not sure what is.

          5. We become overly generous

            Our generosity knows no boundaries. 97% of those surveyed said they would go way out of their way just to make their dog happy. 93% said they can’t wait to get home after a long day to see them, so it would only make sense to not come home without a new toy or their favorite treat. Being generous is a great quality to have when it’s directed at the right person, and maybe that’s just your dog right now and that’s okay!

            6. We are just so loveable!

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              As a dog owner, you know the importance of them liking someone you’re thinking about letting into your little pack. Learning to allow yourself to let down your walls and be more affectionate through your pet can really benefit all your current and future relationships.

              7. We know how to work through and talk about our emotions

                We’ve gone through pretty bad breakups at one point or another, lost a family member, got into an argument with our BFF, you know what I mean. Human support systems are great to have, but there’s just a level of comfort and affection you get from your dog. 85% of dog parents said their dog has gotten them through some pretty difficult times. Almost the same amount consider their dog to be their best friend.

                8. We will give up wine and binge watching shows on Netflix

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                  Can you believe that 90% of dog owners would literally give up anything for a whole month if they knew it would make their dog happier? This includes drinking and watching their favorite TV shows. That’s quite the commitment and dedication. Being able to give up habits at the drop of a hat for the ones you love is something to take pride in.

                  Final reminder: It’s important to keep in mind that having a dog is like having a child. It’s a lifelong commitment, and responsibility is the key!

                  More by this author

                  Erica Wagner

                  Freelance Writer

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                  Last Updated on June 24, 2019

                  Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                  Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                  A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

                  Social Media Could Lead to Depression

                  Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

                  Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

                  If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

                  • low self-esteem,

                  • negative self-talk,

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                  • a low mood,

                  • irritability,

                  • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

                  • and social withdrawal.

                  If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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                  Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

                  We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

                  Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

                  Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

                  Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

                  Why We Need to Take This Seriously

                  Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

                  Advice on Social Media Use

                  Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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                  One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

                  Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

                  Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

                  If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

                  Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

                  Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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                  Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

                  Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

                  The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

                  Reference

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