7 Ways How Pets Can Help Your Mental Health

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Nothing can beat the joy of coming home and snuggling with your pets. No matter how hard your day was and one glimpse of your pet and all the stress starts to go away. Because we don’t need to tell our pets how we are feeling, as soon as you enter the house your pet is ready to encounter your distress. Studies say that animals have a strong sense and understanding of emotions. So you don’t need to explain to them as you explain it to your human counterpart.

They help with your mental health as well as physical health. Even if you want to just get in your pajamas and stay in your bed while sipping your coffee. Your pets take you out on walking or hiking.

I have owned pets from my childhood, ranging from dogs, cats, cows, rabbits, horses and so on. Here are 7 key findings on how they keep your mental and physical health and helps you overcome emotional distress.

  1. They help you overcome your loneliness- Either you are having a bad day or you are just feeling lonely in general. Your pets are always there to calm you down and cheer you up. I remember my school days when I had my first breakup and I was feeling lonely as the whole world had turned on me. I was just lying in my bed and my pets (especially dogs, cats and rabbits) would come to my bed from time to time snuggle with me and push me out of bed and show me that this is not the end there is much more to come. And believe me, they didn’t leave me for a minute until I was feeling okay.
  2. They help you stay in the moment- Pets’ lives are always in the moment. Like humans, they never care what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. In other words, they help you become more mindful. In the psychological term, they bring one’s attention to the present moment, i.e. Mindfulness. Pets also help distract youngsters and teenagers from what’s bothering them. And spending time with a pet helps them to learn how to be cheerful and be in the moment.
  3. Pets love us unconditionally- Pets love their owners unconditionally. For example, no matter how bad you did in your exams or how your athletic or social skills are. They don’t need such man made reasons to love you. They are just happy and cheerful to spend time with you. Studies say that such unconditional love is very good for mental health as it stimulates the brain to release the chemical, dopamine. Basically, it helps you sense pleasure.
  4. They keep your heart strong- Not to brag but this is true that they just don’t help with your stress but also with your physical health. Studies have proved that pets help you lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Means with all this combined effect you are less prone to experience a heart attack or stroke. Even if you are recovering from such an incident then your recovery rate is much higher if you have a pet to help you recover.
  5. Pets provide a sense of purpose- A pet provides you with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Because when you own a pet, you are never alone and you have to look after them. Which helps you organize your daily routine and also fills you with responsibility. It helps improve your mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Taking responsibility for your pet also helps improve your social skills. Which improves your relationships with your human counterparts.
  6. Pets offer empathy- I remember when one of my family members died when I was very young. We were having a hard time coping with it. So if someone would start crying or having an anxiety attack. Our pets would gather around and will start distracting us with putting their paws on our feet. Or they used to come and sit in our laps and cuddle. And it really helped people from going into severe depression. So always have a pet around, you never know when you might need them.
  7. Pets help you make more friends- Pets are an excellent way to improve your social interactions. As an adult, it is always hard to make friends. But if you have a pet with you then it is like an icebreaker and he or she is like your wingman. Suppose you are walking with your pet and someone just stops to pet your dog or cat. And just like this, you have a common topic to ta;k about. You will get easily comfortable with other pet owners. So for even introverts, pets are like a knight in shining armor, to help you interact with strangers. Studies also show that a pet owner is more likely to know his or her neighborhood better.

So if you have a fuzzy friend already then it is time to get too close to them and appreciate them more. If you don’t own one then you can just walk to a shelter near your home and bring one this new year. As a parent, if you do not want a pet at home, then you can take your kids to shelter from time to time so that they can encounter compassion and unconditional love. So from now on whenever you will walk to your pets never forget to thank them.

Feel free to drop a comment on how your pets help you with your tough times.

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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

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If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.



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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

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Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 



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