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Stress relief is just a purr away

Everyone experiences some level of stress at some point. While our triggers are different, stress is a physical, mental, and/or emotional response to life’s changes and challenges. If you experience frequent headaches, upset stomach, or trouble sleeping, you may have some stress. Generally, if you are unfocused, distracted, agitated, and angry or quick to lash out, you probably need some stress relief.

April is National Stress Awareness month.

For pet owners, relief comes on four paws. Wrapped up in a furry package are all the recommendations your doctor will prescribe – exercise, relax, meditate, get a hobby, laugh more.

Anyone with a dog knows that exercise comes with walks or tossing the ball over and over again.

It’s so calming to snuggle with my dog. He doesn’t care how my day was—- he’s just happy to see me. Ashley S.

The crazy way our pets play, what piques their curiosity, or even how they react when surprised seem to be a source of endless laughter.  YouTube is awash with funny pet videos any time you need to laugh your stress away.

That’s okay. We’ll wait as you are replaying the very popular Surprised Kitty video in your head. As you chuckle to yourself, your stress level just went down.

Meditation and relaxation exercise are within close reach, or already on your lap depending on where your kitty likes to hang out. There is nothing more soothing than a cat’s loud purr.

My cat’s warmth against my chest and purrs on my heart calms me - DeAnn A.

A study by the University of Minnesota Stroke Center found that cat owners were 40 percent less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners. Cats seem to be more beneficial than dogs because the study went on to find that non-cat owners also have a 30 percent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular related disease.

While the reasoning is not 100 percent conclusive, cat lovers speculate it is the calming effect of a cat’s purr. Our cats are helping us relax just like they do their own kittens – with a soothing purr.

There’s nothing more calming after a stressful day than my kitties curling up with me and purring like crazy. Lizzi B.

by Kathy Covey

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