A woman is holding a cat and is touching its nose.

Emotional Support Animals to Treat Anxiety: The Magic Touch

7 min read

Do you feel lonely and can’t cope with anxiety all by yourself? It’s too early to abandon hope! A support animal can help you make your life less stressful and fill it with new colors. Indeed, those who suffer from an anxiety disorder often feel lonely and abandoned unless they have a devoted friend nearby.

Want to know how the ESA can help you forget about anxiety and leave other emotional problems in the past? Below you’ll find the details about how ESAs encourage quick recovery from mental troubles and why it’s a good way out for those who suffer from anxiety.

ESAs and anxiety: Can they help?

A woman is holding a dog and trying to kiss it.
Emotional support animals play a significant role in the lives of people.

Just like service animals, emotional support pets play a vital role in the lives of disabled individuals. However, the main duties performed by ESAs are a bit different – as their name suggests, their major task is to offer companionship and emotional help to their handlers.

Those who struggle with the anxiety disorder often feel helpless and lonely and these feelings greatly worsen their psychological state contributing to emotional stress and anxiety.

If that’s your case, there is no need to give up yet. Having the ESA by your side can give you the much-needed relief from anxiety so that you will no longer feel lonely or isolated from others. Instead, your emotional state will gradually improve and your mental wellbeing will return back to normal.

How does it work? Let’s take a look at how ESA therapy will help you to recover:

  • Having the ESA at home and spending time with it helps to get rid of stress 
  • Support animals boost your spirits and improve your mood
  • ESA ownership is a great way to fight fears and unreasonable worries
  • Pets don’t let their owners feel lonely or secluded
  • ESAs help their caretakers to fight depression and negativity
  • Animals (especially dogs) provide a feeling of security which is great for those who suffer from anxiety
  • Support animals promote interaction with other people

What’s more, the presence of an animal at home can greatly improve your physical health as well. Many studies say that pet ownership can lower blood pressure, normalize your heart rate and prevent the risk of various health disorders.

What breed or type of animal is best for anxiety?

A cute dog is sleeping in hans of a human.
It's goo to choose a pet that will match your personality for 100%.

You might have heard rumors about different exotic animals performing the role of ESAs and helping their owners fight various emotional disorders. But even though it’s true that you can take absolutely any animal for this duty, you should understand that most companion animals aren’t peacocks or snakes.

However, some particular breeds or types of pets may still be more suitable for specific duties that they are supposed to perform.

Of course, there are no special requirements for your future companion like breed, weight, size or other parameters. Strictly speaking, the choice of a suitable animal for the ESA role depends on the next factors:

  • Your own preferences as for the breed or type of animal
  • Your personality and how it matches the type of animal you have chosen
  • Temperament and character of your future ESA.

What’s more, some particular breeds of dogs, for example, are better suited for the role of service animals or emotional support pets which is mainly explained by their favorable characteristics. Thus, Labradors and Retrievers are often adopted as service dogs due to their friendliness, amiable nature, and perfect temperament.

But if you suffer from emotional troubles, the choices aren’t limited to particular breeds. The only rule here is to choose the best-matching animal that will fit your personality and suit your own tastes and needs.

If you follow this simple rule, you’ll soon see improvement in your emotional state and it’ll give you good chances to handle the symptoms of anxiety in the long run.

Fighting anxiety with the ESA: How does it work?

A woman is holing a pet cat an touching is nose.
ESA pets differ from other pet animals that you are used to having at home.

There are many things that make emotional support animals different from usual pets with which you only cuddle on the couch and spend your free time at home or outside.

Surely, companion animals have a slightly different task. And the companionship that you get from the ESA is exactly what can help you fight anxiety and feel less lonely all along.

But what else can your ESA give you? And what’s the key to the effectiveness of ESA therapy in handling anxiety? Let’s find out:

  1. Pet ownership lessens anxiety in difficult life situations

When you have someone to talk to and take care of, you won’t be too immersed in negative feelings. And even if you’re living through tough times in life, your anxiety won’t escalate to the feeling of panic or intense fearfulness. That’s exactly why ESA ownership can bring the right effect if you’re trying to cope with the anxiety disorder.

  1. ESAs are great listeners

ESAs can’t speak the human language or fully understand their handler’s feelings but they can give you a chance to talk to them whenever there is no one else around. That’s exactly what helps you feel not so lonely. As a result, it’ll also help you get rid of anxiety, fears, and other negative feelings.

But apart from being good listeners, ESAs can also show much love and affection for their handlers. And what can be a better remedy for anxiety than cuddling with your little friend at home or talking to your pet whenever you feel moody and depressed?

  1. Animals are non-judgmental

Your pet will never give you any unwelcomed piece of advice and it’ll never accuse you of anything. That’s why companion animals are ideal for everyone who struggles with anxiety.

No doubt, it’s always great to have such a trusted companion especially because your ESA will never make you feel bad about anything. Instead, it will always be by your side whenever you need a company which will bring benefit to your emotional state. 

A boy is holing an hugging a pet cat.
Pets never accuse you of anything - they're non-judgmental.

  1. ESA therapy can decrease the need for prescription medicines

We all have bad days in life. This is where we feel down and have the blues so that hardly anything can boost our spirits. Unfortunately, in many situations, our negative emotions and feelings may eventually translate into serious mental disorders like depression and anxiety. And in most cases, this may require you to take pills and rely on prescription medications.

Luckily, there is an alternative treatment – ESA therapy. In the long run, it’ll help you minimize the number of medications you’re taking or even stop using pharmaceutical products completely.

  1. Caring for the ESA takes negative thoughts out of your mind

All animals need much attention and care so having the ESA at home also means having to take good care of your pet at all times. You’ll need to groom your pet, give healthy food to it, walk with it day after day, and play with your ESA every so often.

All these things will definitely shift your focus from undesirable thoughts on your mind. Eventually, your anxiety will go away and you’ll have a much more productive way to spend your time at home. As a result, keeping yourself busy with daily duties will ward off the signs of your emotional problems while the negative thoughts and feelings will stop bothering you.

And perhaps the most fantastic thing about ESA ownership is that it can also change your way of thinking for the better which will help you to develop a more positive attitude to your life.

Conclusion

A human hand is touching a sleeping cat.
One ESA can make people around feel much better and relieve anxiety.

Just because animals can give us a great load of support and emotional help in a variety of different ways, taking an ESA home can be an effective solution to anxiety, fears, panic attacks, and other mental disorders.

Of course, having the emotional support animal alone doesn’t guarantee that you’ll completely recover from anxiety or that your problem will disappear on its own. What it really guarantees is that you’ll start feeling better emotionally and will get quick relief from psychological problems.

However, it might still be a good idea to follow your own treatment plan where your ESA will serve as a great addition to standard mental health therapy.

It leaves no doubt that ESA ownership can lessen the feeling of anxiety and encourage social interaction. In the long run, these and other benefits of ESA therapy will help you forget about current emotional problems and not to develop them again in the future.

Ready for a change in life? Register your ESA now and enjoy the magic benefits of ESA therapy!

by GetESA

Rating: 5/5 2 votes cast

ESA 101: Educational