Emotional vulnerability and loneliness are two major challenges people face in addiction treatment and recovery. Pets can alleviate some of the stress associated with these challenges. By the time you began detox treatment, you may have already distanced yourself from old contacts who also led an addictive lifestyle. You have entered a new recovering community where drugs and alcohol are absent. This transition involves not only lifestyle changes but a whole new direction in life. A pet-friendly treatment center may offer welcoming and effective help in alleviating the stress and loneliness of treatment and transition.
Addiction Recovery and Loneliness
Pets can keep you company. Their presence often evokes a warming emotional response within you and can help get you out of an emotionally troubled space. As your senses engage with these four-legged friends by petting and playing with them and observing their movement, you get in touch with a positive element of your environment. There is a sense of connectedness with another living being, whether it is a dog, a cat, or another furry friend. Their snuggles can bring you a warm sensation and then a hearty grin. Pets are wonderful distractions when you are mentally and emotionally struggling.
Many people who struggle with addiction experience challenges such as low-esteem, anxiety, depression, and obsessive thoughts. They sometimes fail to receive enough sympathy from fellow human beings. In contrast, the attention from sympathetic pets can be inviting and soothing. These benefits are also why people who are grieving may find comfort in befriending loyal dogs. Hospitals sometimes use experienced guide dogs to help ease young children’s anxiety during their stay for treatment. We can all witness that the simple playfulness of animals is emotionally healing.
The Benefits of Keeping Pets During Recovery
Animals tend to have a strong sense of how routines work. For those in treatment or recovery, pets help sustain a regular schedule. Having pets may also help a community stay on schedule. The daily routines of feeding, walking, grooming, and playing with pets give life more structure. Taking care of pets may also give you a sense of responsibility. Having a pet that depends on you can give you a sense of purpose. People who are recovering from addiction can also suffer from distrust toward fellow human beings; pets may also help us see the power of trust and mutual dependence.
Within a recovering community, pets can also become social contact points. People may gather and talk about the animals. When you arrive at a more stable place in recovery, keeping a pet of your own in the home may also help you better integrate into social life. Because recovery can be a long and stressful process, it is important to cultivate a fun-loving atmosphere, and pets facilitate this wonderfully by helping people engage in fun play. Having a pet-friendly and fun-loving recovery community can effectively help you manage stress as you work toward sobriety.
Pets Support Us Like Family
For people who are suffering from mental disorders while in recovery, pets can provide powerful emotional support, just like family does. The liveliness of animals can help anchor us to what matters most. Their devotion to their owners can brighten even the worst days. After you sail through the early phases of recovery, when your body and mind have arrived at a new space for emotional wellness, adopting a pet may help with your ongoing recovery. You are in lower danger of relapse, and you have the physical and emotional strength to take care of another being. At this stage, having a pet can keep you grounded and in a healthy routine.
Being a pet walker can also help establish a daily exercise regimen. Even when loneliness and cravings set in, you have an active companion to play with and be distracted by. Pets, especially dogs and cats, are not only sensitive to their owners’ moods, but they are also capable of adjusting their behaviors accordingly. As they sense your depressed or anxious mood, they like to sniff around you to seek comfort. You may automatically feel compelled to pet them. This emotional bonding helps during times of anxiety. Keeping smaller animals like guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits can also boost emotional health.
When adopting a pet, you also need to consider its health and life expectancy. The sudden death and loss of a pet can be emotionally debilitating to someone in recovery. Owning a pet is also a major responsibility; if you are not yet ready for taking on that level of responsibility, try volunteering at an animal shelter or connect with friends who have pets at home. These pets can really lift your spirits during stressful times.
At a pet-friendly treatment center, you will have more emotional support than one that is not. Did you know that animals can effectively boost your emotional well-being during recovery when you experience anxiety and loneliness? There aren’t many pet-friendly treatment centers around, but Laguna Shores Recovery is one! We understand how difficult long-term recovery can be and the importance of significant emotional support. Our staff is pet-loving, which is part of how Laguna Shores Recovery makes you feel at home. At our full medical facility, we offer a range of support, including the best behavioral therapies, tailored treatment plans, family relationship programs, 12-step groups, and alumni services. Taking a holistic approach to treating addiction, we value the connections between mind and body. Call us at 866-934-5276, and we are happy to make your stay here a life-changing experience. Schedule an appointment with a licensed mental healthcare professional or therapist to start taking care of yourself.