Can Pets Help Us Feel Less Lonely? This Surprising Creature Could Be Beneficial to Our Mental Health

The enormous volume of pet adoptions seen during the peak of the pandemic is perhaps the most visible evidence.

Those isolated days were also a striking reminder of something else: the loneliness epidemic that is currently doing havoc on Americans.

In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States recently issued a report warning about the epidemic and suggesting ways to combat it. 

That begs the question: What role do our non-human friends play in meeting our profound desire for connection

Ample evidence indicates that animals are beneficial to both human short- and long-term health.

 "We know that interactions with animals are associated with reduced stress (decreased cortisol), lowered blood pressure, and increased hormones associated with feeling good (oxytocin)," 

Other experts on human-animal relationships agree on these physiological impacts.

Nancy Gee, director and psychiatry professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine's Center confirms that cuddling animals cause oxytocin release.

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