Having a stroke is a terrifying experience, and it is only natural to start experiencing some symptoms of anxiety and depression when it is all over. After all, it is something that often brings a person close to death, and it can seem like no one else understands the feelings of fear and despair that often accompany survival. While you often feel thankful that you were able to make it through, there is nothing wrong with the negative feelings that come with it. Here is how your canine companion can help you get through this tough phase after a stroke.

Alleviating Anxiety and Depression

These are natural things to feel after a stroke, but a dog can help you get through them. Petting and hugging them releases oxytocin throughout the body, and this is the hormone responsible for reducing anxiety and stress, blood pressure, and heart rate, so you feel more relaxed and a lot less worried. They also bring comfort as a whole because you know they are always there when you need them.

They give you a sense of purpose and validation, as well as offering unconditional love that cannot be matched by another creature on this planet. There have even been studies to suggest that they are able to help the process of balancing the serotonin levels in your brain, boosting your mood and leaving you feeling in a better mindset.

Reducing Feelings of Loneliness

Often, post-stroke life can leave a person feeling increasingly lonely, and this can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, a lot of attention will have been received in the hospital, and family will have made special arrangements to come visit and be there as much as possible.

However, once everything is clear, life goes back to normal, and it can leave a person feeling isolated. A dog is always there to offer love, support, and companionship, and this can bring a great deal of comfort, as well as reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Giving You Someone to Talk to

Possibly the most important thing that a dog can do for you is give you someone to talk to when you need it most. They will not judge or abandon you, regardless of how emotional you are. A shoulder to cry on, there is nothing you cannot tell them – especially as they will never tell anyone else. Linking to the fact that they can help with loneliness, it is important to have someone to speak to in these circumstances, and sometimes another human is not the easiest or best choice for you. A dog can offer just as much, and more.

Please read next:  Speakers for the 29 September Life After Stroke webinar confirmed 

To Conclude

If you found this interesting and would like to learn more about the ways in which a dog can help with mental health, feel free to check out this detailed resource. Dogs are some of the greatest companions we could ever ask for, and as little as we give them, they always return it tenfold. We understand the struggle that comes after a stroke, and your dog is there to help you through the darkest moments in every way they can.

About the Author

Will Tottle

Will Tottle is a freelance writer, his blog can be seen here . If you are interested in more information on the benefits of dog ownership including health tips, buyer’s guides and gear reviews, then check out his guides over at Dogowner.co.uk

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