Resilience is our "inborn self-righting mechanism." It means bouncing back from loss, failures, and setbacks. Building resilience (an emotional intelligence competency) is proactive stress management. Read these research data from "A General Theory of Love," by Amini, Lewis and Lannon, MDs, and take another look at your best-beloved pet. (If you don't own one, why don't you?)
1. The presence of a pet decreases cardiovascular reactivity.
2. Your pet stabilizes your blood vessels and heart rhythm.
3. People have lower heart rates and lower blood pressure when they're with their pet.
This translates into thousands of fewer heartbeats over months and years, which can slow development of arteriosclerosis.
4. Pets are non-discriminatory. They slow heart rate even among highly stressed, high-intensity type A personalities.
5. Petting a dog has decreased blood pressure of healthy college students, hospitalized elderly people, and adults with high blood pressure.
6. When children are sitting quietly reading, their blood pressure is lower when a dog is in the room.
7. Support from animal companions has been linked to increased survival in people with coronary artery disease, independent of marital status and living situation.
8. People with pets live longer after having heart attacks than those without pets.
9. When bird owners talk to their birds, their blood pressure drops on average 10 points.
10. Among people who have heart attacks, pet owners have 1/5th the death rate of those who don't have pets.