Dr. Forshee tells Bustle readers how dogs can be beneficial for a human’s mental health.
If you’re finding yourself wondering just how legit these stress-busting claims are, allow me to share with you some expert commentary. Speaking with Bustle, psychologist and licensed clinical social worker Dr. Danielle Forshee confirmed that dogs can indeed be beneficial for a human’s mental health. “Current literature reflects the well-documented effects of human-dog interaction, with benefits specifically related to anxiety, depression, and coping with stress,” she says. “It has been shown that emotional support exists between humans and dogs similar to the emotional support that exists between humans.”
According to Dr. Forshee, when we are upset or stressed, we benefit from being around other humans — and if we look at things from an evolutionary perspective, “the emotional support that humans receive from dogs may be explained by the fact that dogs have socially adapted to live with humans for more than 30 thousand years and are closely adapted to human social performance.” Like humans, many canines can recognize emotional cues from their humans and adjust their behavior accordingly.
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