Anyone with a dog or a cat knows that they always feel better after a short snuggle sesh with their pet and now science agrees. New research from Washington State University finds that spending time petting and playing with animals can relieve stress in just 10 minutes.
For the study, researchers divided 250 college students into four groups. The first group was allowed to pet cats and dogs for 10 minutes while the second group just watched. The third and fourth groups had no contact with the animals, but one was shown a slideshow of photos of the animals and the other was told they’d get to play with them later in the day.
Researchers collected cortisol samples from all of the participants via their saliva and found the people who got to actually pet the animals had significantly lower levels of the “stress hormone.” So if you need to calm down and relax, just spend a little time petting your stress away with your dog or cat and you’ll both feel better.
Source: Women’s Health