A lot of people are hard-core animal lovers. Sometimes, we even love our animal friends more than people.
While people drain our energy by expecting constant conversation, animals replenish us by offering comfort beyond words.
As serious and stoic as we may seem on the outside, we need love and affection, too.
Often, our animal friends are just what the doctor ordered. After a long day filled with too much peopling, a cuddle from a furry cutie has us good as new again.
My strange animal best friend.
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but growing up, my best friend was my pet fish Lali.
Sure, I had human friends too, but Lali the fish was an endless source of joy and companionship for me.
After all, we had so much in common.
We both loved to be in our small world, munch on yummy food, and take naps. oh yeah, and we were both very quiet as well.
Lali and I did not have very many deep conversations, and that is what made our bond even more strong.
We need companions who allow us to feel safe in our silence. Animals do this naturally.
Overthinking and anxious? Animal friends cure all.
Many of us have a tendency to overthink. We create thought knots that we spend the whole day trying to untangle. This gets very tiring, and can cause a lot of anxiety.
The pure loving presence of an animal friend gets us out of our head and into a more peaceful state of mind.
Do not just take my word for it.
Many research studies show that animals really do help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression in humans.
One study that I found especially interesting explored the impact of animal support during a stressful social situation.
The dogs trumped humans when it came to reducing cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the anxious children.
I am no scientist, but I have my theories on why this is.
One of the things that is so refreshing about our animal friends is that they are so easy to understand.
Animals do not lie. When a dog wags his tail, he is happy.
When a cat purrs, he is pleased. When animal friends bark, or meow, or squeak, there is usually a good reason for it.
You see, animals simply do not do small talk.
A dog will never ask you how your day was, or what you did on the weekend. Nevertheless, his eyes will light up when you walk in a room. Moreover, he will stay by your side through good times and bad. Should you ever feel like opening up, he‘d perk his ears in your direction, and listen intently without ever interrupting you.
The other reason animal friends soothe our soul is that it is so easy to make them happy. Food, affection, fresh air — that is all they really want. People are much more complicated. They want us to talk when we do not want to talk. Humans have expectations, you see.
Most people expect us to stretch and strain ourselves to the point of exhaustion. They want us to fill our social calendar, and be busy all the time.
Meanwhile, cats do not care if we want to spend all day Saturday in our pyjamas.
As long as we offer food, and the occasional belly rub, they will not judge. The same goes for all other pets as well.
Their expectations are blissfully low. This is such a relief in the demanding, extrovert-biased world we live in. As if not all that were already enough, there is another often-overlooked reason why animal friends are so comforting to humans.
Most people love structure and routine. Having some predictability in our day helps to protect us from overwhelm. Animal friends create a healthy routine that gets us away from our worries and into nature.
When we feed our pets their much-anticipated daily meals, we feed our soul at the same time.
Animals offer a kind of companionship that feeds a gentle soul like nothing else.