Monday, July 7, 2008

Connecting with our pets

To stop emotional overeating, we need to nurture our spirits. For many of us one avenue to rediscovering our creative spirits is through connection with our pets. You may be wondering what animals have to do with stopping emotional overeating? Plenty! As mentioned earlier, anyone with food control issues will most likely also experience low self-esteem, elevated stress levels, physical and emotional problems, inactivity and fatigue, low self-confidence and social isolation. So, I cannot resist including a few words on the therapeutic effects of our little furry or feathered friends. Research has shown that living with and caring for animals helps remedy all of the above conditions. About twenty-five years ago professionals began using animals to help patients with physical and psychological problems and over time the field of study has expanded. It is now well accepted that our animal friends provide us with numerous benefits. Being with them is not only good for us but perhaps necessary for optimal health and happiness.

Many kinds of animals have helped humans in ways we are only beginning to understand and appreciate. There is evidence that people with pets are healthier, less prone to hypertension and heart disease, have lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and manage their stress more effectively. They are more active, social, connected and responsible, and have higher levels of self-esteem. Pets give unconditional love and help us to focus outside of ourselves. There is no doubt that animals of many species can help us correct imbalances in our bodily systems and ultimately to heal eating difficulties.

Blood pressure is lowered when we watch fish swim lazily in an aquarium, or when we talk with our bird, hamster, ferret, goat or turtle companion. Petting an animal can have the same effect -- be it a dog, cat, guinea pig, or horse. Pets also provide a sympathetic ear and we can confide our most secret thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged or exposed. This is most therapeutic! An animal provides a channel for communication and we can express our feelings through verbal and physical interactions with our trusted pets. They provide a willing ear and are a source of unconditional love and companionship.

When our needs for connection are unfulfilled, we may fill the void with unhealthy food choices. In some situations a pet just might help -- not for everyone perhaps but for some of us. Please visit to meet my little fuzzy friend.

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