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Addiction can be one of the most difficult diseases to recover from.
With addiction, we’re battling both our bodies and our minds. Unfortunately, in the case of addiction, our powerful minds can become our worst enemies.
It’s not like other diseases which are treated with the right medications and corrective measures. Addictions make us want to hang on to that which makes us ill. Due to the chemical dependencies formed, both our mind and our body crave our drug.
However, therapy animals are quickly being recognized as a way to settle our minds and put us back on the right path toward recovery. If you haven’t heard of or considered therapy animals to help you overcome addiction, you’ll want to continue reading.
The Benefits of Therapy Animals
There are very few of us that don’t like animals of one kind or another. In fact, the majority of us love almost all animals. They seem to unlock an emotional reaction in us that is otherwise unavailable.
The emotions and responses therapy animals activate in us provide space to begin addiction recovery. They often reverse someone’s mentality who is closed off and unable to make the effort to change.
1. Emotional Support
First, therapy animals provide emotional support, simply by being with us.
Recovering from an addiction creates all sorts of emotions within us. For example, while we are trying to walk away from our addiction, we actually become sad. We tend to miss our addiction as if it were a close friend.
Depending on how we used it, our addiction may feel like the other support we had in the past. Saying goodbye to it forever can be quite traumatic.
Therapy animals give us something else to focus our affection and emotions on, whether you’re considering a therapy dog or equine therapy.
2. Accountability and Responsibility
Secondly, therapy animals give us something to be accountable and responsible for.
This can be a great distraction from the cravings and negative emotions that generally accompany addiction recovery. Having an animal to feed and take care of really puts your mind in another place. It gives you a reason to keep going.
3. Physical Activity
As we suggested, our mental health is a huge factor in addiction recovery. It affects our motivation, determination, and how likely we are to fall into depression and possibly relapse.
Therapy animals give us a reason to be more active, which is proven to improve our mental health. Animals need to exercise to be happy and healthy. They will depend on you to walk them, take them to the park, etc.
Next, therapy animals help many people recovering from addiction by providing companionship. Loneliness can be one of the worst feelings a recovering addict can feel.
Whether a therapy animal is there full-time or just for visits, they can really quell loneliness.
Give It a Try
On the road to recovery, you’re going to have a lot of obstacles in your path. Why not try anything and everything that may help?
Therapy animals are a great way to open new doors. They may unlock emotional and mental strengths you previously lacked or didn’t know you had.If you want more advice on handling addictions, check out the rest of our blog. We also have tons of articles on life, business, health, and more!