It’s important to how we communicate that we learn how to deal with stress, particularly what triggers stress and what works for us in coping with it. Perhaps its easy for us to believe we live in the most stressful times, with the digital age allowing us to connect to one another, and connect to work, anywhere on the planet.
I’m not so sure. I have a feeling that everyone who’s ever lived thought their time was the most stressful in history. Our grandparents had the blitz, and before that there was Spannish Flu and the first world war. Before that, the merciless industrial age, and before that the many Imperial wars…. and before that black death and so on. Sometimes, perspective is important, but that’s not to say the stresses and strains of the modern age don’t take their toll. They certainly do.
So I was pleased to see that dogs, perhaps my favourite animals (or maybe cats?) have been found to have tangibly positive effects on their owners and those around them, in terms of stress and physical health. According to The Huffington Post, “People who live with a pup tend to have better blood pressure, lower risk of depression and increased longevity after heart attacks.”
Dogs it seems, are extremely effectual stress-relievers in the workplace. Now I’m not suggesting that everyone should bring a dog into work, as its not going to be a stress free experience for a nurse, sandwich maker, or forklift operator to bring in their pooch, nor indeed are many employers going to be happy about suddenly catering for a dog, but if you can practically bring your dog to work, not only will your colleagues feel a little less stressed, I bet they’ll appreciate the gesture.
Getting a dog is a big responsibility, and not just for now, but for the next decade and more should your doggy be healthy and able to fight the temptation to fling itself into the middle of the road (they do this). A loyal companion and a reason, if you don’t need one already, to get out everyday and walk, dogs might just be key for the fight against stress.