Ask anyone with a four-legged friend what brings them the most joy and they’ll tell you: a decent snuggle sesh with their doggo (on the couch preferable, although not essential.) And, science agrees. New research out of Washington State University has found spending time with your pet can relieve stress in a matter of minutes.
For the study - which was published in the journal AERA - 250 highly-strung college students were divided into four groups. The first group was allowed to pet cats and dogs for 10 minutes, while the second group watched on. The other two groups had no contact with the animals (despite the third group being shown a slideshow of pictures and being told they would get to play with them later in the day.) The researchers collected cortisol samples from each of the participants via their saliva throughout the day, starting in the morning before the experiment took place.”
From this, they found that the group who had the chance to pet the animals directly had significantly lower cortisol levels afterwards than their fellow students.
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