The APA dictionary of psychology defines empowerment in the following way. “The promotion of the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to take greater control of one's life. In psychotherapy, the process involves helping clients become more active in meeting their needs and fulfilling their desires and aims to provide them with a sense of achievement and realization of their own abilities and ambitions.”
That's a mouthful, but it seems to me according to this definition pets can be seen as the “therapist” that assists their pet parent to become a more empowered person. Consider the following and see if you agree.
Pets help boost self-esteem and confidence.
Pets have a positive impact on mental health. They can provide emotional support and companionship which can lead to increased feelings of self-worth and confidence. The unconditional love and affection that pets give can help us feel more secure and empowered in our relationships with others. This is especially important for those who struggle with social interactions or feel isolated.
Have you ever noticed it’s easier to start a conversation with someone who has a pet with them or when you have your pet with you?
Caring for pets helps people develop a sense of responsibility and accountability.
Caring for a pet requires a certain level of responsibility and accountability and by having a pet, pet parents learn how to prioritize their time and resources to ensure their pet's well-being. This can lead to developing skills of organization and discipline.
What things did you adjust to ensure your fur baby’s needs are met?
Pets can be the incentive to be more physically active and healthy.
Lack of motivation to exercise regularly can feel disempowering. Not to worry…pets to the rescue! Taking your pet for a walk can provide a source of regular physical exercise and fresh air. It's also tough not to pick up a ball and throw it or take one end of a rope for a game of tug! All of these help reduce stress levels and improve the overall sense of well-being for both you and your pet.
How do you feel after a walk with your pet? More energized? I know I do!
Pets can help people develop emotional intelligence and relate better to others.
Each furry loved one has its own unique personality and behaviors. This can require a lot of patience and empathy from you, the pet parent. Training and caring for them takes time and effort, which believe it or not, can help you develop your emotional intelligence. By learning to understand and communicate with your pets, you can improve your ability to relate to others and develop better social skills. Not to mention, the unconditional love and companionship that pets offer has a positive impact on our mental health.
How has your pet helped you understand and relate to others differently?
Pets can inspire people to make a positive difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
Our pets can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life.They bring joy and happiness, and can help us feel more connected to nature and the world around us. By caring for our pets we can develop a greater appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and feel more empowered to take action to make a difference for ourselves, others and the world in general.
How has your pet provided purpose and meaning for you?
Overall, pets can have a profound impact on helping us become a more empowered, caring person and improving our well-being and quality of life. I, for one, am grateful for how the animals in my life provide me with a sense of achievement. I am definitely a more empowered person who gets to utilize my skills and abilities to assist them and their families!