Our pets are a great way to boost our mood, calm us down and de-stress. Here are some things you can try with your pet.  If you don’t have a pet, use a cuddly toy for some of these exercises.

Using your pet to boost your mood
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Hold your pet and take time to stroke it. As you stroke your pet, really focus on exactly how it feels underneath your fingertips.  Notice the texture of the fur, try stroking in different ways and notice how it feels. Putting all your attention to how something feels will instantly help to calm you and help you think more clearly.

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With your pet close by you, notice how it is breathing. Touch your pet if it helps.  Now match your breathing to your pet’s breathing.  Is it slow and deep, fast and shallow or somewhere in between? Try to get your breathing exactly in time with your pet’s. Focussing on your breathing like this for a few minutes is a great way to de-stress.

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Although your pet can’t actually talk to you (unless it’s a parrot), it can be a great listener! Talking to your pet about anything you are upset, angry, or worried about can be very useful. The great thing is that your pet won’t interrupt, disagree or laugh at you. You can say whatever you want!

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Taking care of a pet, loving it, feeding it, and playing with it is such a mood booster. When we care for others, it makes us feel good too. It also helps us to build responsibility which in turn makes us feel more confident.

Boost your mood with your pet or cuddly toy
‘Pets leaves pawprints on our hearts!’
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