Mental Health Awareness Week is an important initiative that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues and reduce the stigma surrounding them. This year's theme is "Anxiety", a natural emotion in us all, but can get out of control for some of us due to our everyday lives and stresses.
Dogs can be great companions and can have a positive impact on our mental health, especially when it comes to anxiety. Anxiety, a mental condition, is the body’s natural response to stress and persistent fear. Dogs, like humans, are prone to anxiety. Spending time with dogs has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can also increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Spending time with dogs has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can also increase feelings of happiness and well-being. In fact, some dogs are trained to be therapy dogs and can provide comfort and support to people with mental health conditions.
In May, Dog Anxiety Awareness Week is observed in the first full week of May and takes place from May 1 to 7 this year. The week shares information and creates awareness about the prevalence of anxiety in canines. The purpose of counterconditioning is to change your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety, usually by replacing the anxious or aggressive behaviour with a more desirable one If you have a dog, you can take advantage of Mental Health Awareness Week by spending some extra time outdoors with your furry friend. This could include going for a walk in the park, hiking in the mountains, or simply playing in the backyard. If you don't have a dog, you could consider volunteering at a local animal shelter to spend time with animals and enjoy the benefits of being in nature.
Anxiety in the workplace is being acknowledged by many businesses. Some have opted to bring dogs into a workplace environment. Letting employees have a break from their work to play and spend time with canine colleagues can reduce stress and ultimately make them more proactive when they go back to work.
Companies such as Paws in Work offer both virtual and face-to-face specialist puppy therapy services for companies that are looking to combat stress, anxiety, improve staff well-being, morale, and team bonding. Some venues across the UK also runny puppy yoga classes to aid your physical and mental health.
We understand that not everyone can adopt a pet or have the option to have a pet. If this is the case then there are other health services available to support you, you are not on your own.
Heads Together: https://www.headstogether.org.uk/
Cruse Bereavement: https://www.cruse.org.uk
Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. So, take some time this week to focus on your well-being and enjoy the beauty of nature with your canine companion!