When we look at the principles of Positive Psychology (the study of what human wellbeing and fulfillment is made of – including happiness) it’s easy to see why so many of us attribute our happiness and wellness to our pets! I’ve frequently written about how pets show love, and what dogs want out of life. And in this recent post, I also covered what cats want out of life. So why not explore what makes people happy, too?
Elements of Human Well-being According to Positive Psychology
- Positive Emotions = Feeling good in the moment. Pet owners often speak about how their pets keep them in the present.
- Engagement = Flow. There’s nothing like throwing a ball for a dog to help you lose track of time, immersed in something incredibly enjoyable.
- Relationships = Connection, and deep, meaningful, positive relationships. Ask any pet owner and they’ll tell you there is no better relationship than ones they have with their pets.
- Meaning = Purpose. Pets help us focus on a cause, connecting to something bigger than ourselves. Dogs are so connected with meaning and purpose in humans that they actually help us age better and live longer. Owning a dog or cat makes us more likely to survive major health scares.
- Accomplishment = Growth. Feeling a sense of achievement and success. Anyone who has ever earned the trust of an animal knows there is no better achievement on earth.
Plus the “Happy Drugs”
- Staring into each other’s eyes is a wonderful source of Oxytocin for humans and dogs.
- Exercising with your pet releases Endorphins for both of you – which help fight depression in humans.
- Cuddling your pet releases Serotonin and Dopamine.
- Read more about the human health benefits of pets here!
Your Turn: What Makes You Happy?
Please share in the comments your happy place, happy task, happy fill-in-the-blank. Bonus if it involves kitties or puppies. *s*
See the shareable Infographic here (or below) with additional sources.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!