By: Annie Dubois
In times of emotional duress many of us, especially college students, search for an outlet to relieve stress and regain mental balance. Turning to elements originating from the natural world, such as taking walks in a wooded area or sitting beside a river, help gently push us back to a stable mental flow that can be easily lost when new priorities whiz by us every week. A large part of this natural element that helps us regain a sense of strength are animals.
MSU and other universities hold stress-relief events for students during especially straining times such as finals week and midterms. Spending time with animals on campus is always a positive interaction, and it can take our busy minds off of our ever-growing mental to-do list. Pet therapy, or even just time spent with animals, builds on the relationship we have with animals already and reduces anxiety.
In fact, scientific studies show that interacting with animals raises oxytocin levels in our brains, lower our blood pressure, and improve our cardiovascular health, which automatically makes us feel brighter, calmer, and overall better. While we run our fingers through the soft coat of labs and corgis, our brains instantly begin to relax. Next time you feel mentally strained and need a way to unwind, visit a shelter or the therapy dogs at MSU! The animals benefit from the love too, so it’s a win-win situation.
You can find the dates where the therapy dogs will be making a visit here.