“Some stress on a person is a normal part of everyday life. This ‘good stress’ called ‘eustress’ can help propel you forward and motivate you to achieve goals.” Aarti Gupta, PsyD, a clinical director says. Stress comes in different forms. Whether it be a self-induced one or provided by people around us, we tend to feel anxious about things which are out of our control and our comfort zones. Stress is a natural reaction of our bodies to demands or threats.
Stress is almost impossible to avoid in our daily lives. People of all ages also experience it. People in retirement, the workforce, or even in college have to go through different stress issues every once in a while.
Entering a new chapter in our lives such as going to college can trigger stress. Most students feel overwhelmed by what they need to do at this point in their lives. They know of the changes they will have to go through but are unprepared of the many challenges they have to overcome all at once.
Adjusting to a new environment, academic workload, extracurricular activities, and culture shock are some causes of stress students may go through during college. Moreover, most students feel like stress has an adverse effect on their academic performance. There are numerous techniques to deal with stress during college such as attending support groups, counseling, or even animal therapy.
Animal Therapy And Its Effects On College Stress
Animal Therapy is said to reduce stress and anxiety among college students. The most commonly used animals for this kind of therapy are dogs and cats. College counseling centers with animals are found to be an effective way to help students cope with stress.
Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC says “Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” College can be overwhelming and sometimes, students may feel lost on what they need to do. With its growing popularity over colleges, students should be open to trying animal therapy which could aid them throughout their college years. Below are five positive effects of animal therapy on students experiencing college stress:
- It Provides Companionship.
Entering college without friends is difficult, and this may be the first cause of stress students will have to go through in their college lives. If you are feeling shy or you feel like you can’t connect properly with your peers, animals in your college which are trained in therapy may help you not to feel alienated.
- It Gives College Students A Sense Of Calmness.
Spending time with an animal that is trained in therapy can give students a feeling of relaxation. The sense of touching a fluffy and furry friend helps them to relax.
- It Decreases Anxiety.
Being with animals trained in therapy will make college students feel comfortable. Symptoms of anxiety may be decreased when regularly visiting animal therapy in the campus.
- It Helps College Students Cope With Loneliness.
Most college students suffering from homesickness may experience stress. Having animal therapy available on your campus will at least help them to take the first steps in socializing.
- It Also Gives College Students Happiness And Pleasure.
Simply spending time with lovable animals can release happy hormones into the body. Petting them or taking them to walks on your campus will help you forget your current source of stress even just for a little while.
College is often described as one of the most stressful stages in our lives. Colleges in the country should look into animal therapy to help students with their overall being. Animals which are trained in therapy don’t only help relieve stress but can have a positive effect on the mental and physical health as well. “There are so many ways stress creeps into our lives, yet if we take control of our time and make proactive and healthy decisions, we can stop these negative cycles and truly take care of our mental health,” says Sonja Seglin, LCPC.
Animal therapy is just one way to deal with college stress. It may work for some, and not work for others Keep looking and you will definitely find your way to cope with college stress. Know more about stress and how to deal with it by reading some BetterHelp articles or talking to an online psychotherapist.