You might have heard that Blue Monday is looming. This year, it’s happening on Monday 18 January.
Apparently, it’s the most miserable day of the year. That’s because it’s a Monday in the middle of January. You’ve taken down your Christmas decorations, you’ve given up on a resolution or two, the weather’s cold and drizzly, and it’s still ages until pay day.
And that’s without factoring in a global pandemic.
Embracing sparks of joy
However, the good news is that there’s no such thing as Blue Monday. It’s an invention with no scientific basis at all. And, frankly, given the year we’ve just had, we choose to turn our backs on the whole idea and embrace every tiny spark of joy that life offers us.
We’re just as capable of being joyful on a Monday in the middle of January as on any other day, particularly if we have a beloved pet to keep us company.
So let’s banish all thoughts of gloom and embrace the wonder of living with a cat or dog who makes us smile every day of the year. Here we count just a few of the ways that our pets brighten up our lives.
Our furry friends are lovely and warm
This might seem like a superficial reason, but when it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing better than curling up indoors with a furry friend at your side. They provide excellent insulation and essentially act as a living, breathing hot water bottle.
Animals boost our happy hormones
Animals help us feel calmer and happier and can help to lower our stress levels. A study found that being with animals helps boost our levels of oxytocin, the so-called ‘cuddle hormone’. It’s also well known that playing with pets raises the amount of serotonin and dopamine in our body, further enhancing the feel-good factor of hanging out with our furry friends.
Purring has healing qualities
We love to hear a cat purring: it’s the sound of pure contentment. But we were amazed to discover that purring also has healing qualities. Apparently, it’s all to do with the frequency of the purr vibrations, which range between 20-140 hertz. This study found that vibrations between 18-35 hertz can improve joint mobility. A cat’s purr falls within that range, so could have a similar effect.
We suspect the researchers didn’t use cats to provide healing vibrations in their study. But this discovery does give you an extra excuse to cuddle up close with your cat this winter.
Pets love us unconditionally
Our pets don’t care if we’re wearing mismatched pyjamas or have forgotten to brush our hair. They don’t mind whether or not we’ve unloaded the dishwasher. And they couldn’t care less if we’re watching our favourite film for the 50th time. As far as our pets are concerned, as long as we’re there to feed, stroke and love them, we are the best human we could possibly be. That’s guaranteed to make a person feel good.
Pets teach us to live in the moment
Like furry happiness gurus, cats and dogs remind us to live in the moment. They don’t angst about the past or fret about the future. For our pets, it’s all about now. If we follow their example, we’ll find it much easier to navigate tricky waters. See how your dog leaps up to welcome you home. Watch as your cat focuses intently on you as you open the box of treats. Just focus on the moment and enjoy whatever there is to enjoy.
Your dog keeps you active
Going for a walk with your pooch is a guaranteed mood-enhancer. Even when it’s cloudy or raining, a walk will always make you feel better. You get out into the world, breathe fresh air, stretch your legs and look to the horizon. And while you’re navigating puddles and dodging muddy patches, you’ll have the chance to say hello to other walkers and your pooch gets to meet new canine chums.
You and your dog stay fit, you keep your joints moving, and you have a chat with new and old friends. You return to the house feeling invigorated and refreshed. Walkies in winter are a win-win all ways round.
They’re excellent listeners
We all need a friendly listening ear every now and then, and dogs and cats are some of the best listeners around. They’re happy to listen to jokes, rambling stories and deep philosophical questions. They will raise an eyebrow, look deep into your eyes, and provide no verbal feedback at all. As long as you keep stroking their fur or scratching the top of their head, they’re all ears.
While we’re on the subject, pets are also happy for you to talk for them. They don’t mind if you invent a silly voice or share ‘their’ outrageous opinions with the rest of the family. And if that isn’t one of life’s greatest pleasures, we don’t know what is.
How does your pet brighten your day?
How about you? What is your dog or cat doing to bring you joy this January? Please share your thoughts on our Facebook and Instagram pages. You can also watch our latest YuMOVE ad to see why we love our pets so much.