Saturday, March 1, 2014

Love of animals can help heal depression

“Man’s Best Friend” ; could boost your mood 

   The words “man’s best friend” were uttered long before science could determine that dogs are 
hardwired to understand emotions in both humans and other dogs just by the sound of their voice. 
Dogs have many of the same brain functions that produce emotions like humans. One chemical 
that is found in both the human brain as well as dogs is Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a powerful chemical that 
helps in the development of emotions such as love and affection. It is a hormone that brings calmness
and social bonding as well as good feelings, and is integral to the feelings of attachment that occur in 
both humans and dogs. 
    Studies at Azuba University in Japan and Uppsala University in Sweden have 
shown that animals can help reduce blood pressure and calm heart rate in humans. 
Specific neural regions of a dog’s brain have been shown in recent studies by MTA-ELTE
Comparative Ethology Research Group in Budapest; to be responsive to the human voice. Dogs are able 
to decipher emotions such as fear, joy, anger, disgust, excitement and distress through their auditory
cortex; which is also found in humans. 
   Dogs also have a strong sense of smell; their olfactory system 
helps them to determine human moods and emotions by giving them a sense of memory recognition. 
If trained dogs can detect some forms of cancer. Metabolomx, a small company in Mountain View, 
California plans to bring a cancer-sniffing device to the medical market in the near future
In addition to cuddling up with your favorite pet there are other practical methods to help 
increase your happiness and appreciation of life. 

    For starters, look at how much sunshine you are
getting. Most vitamin D3 production occurs when our skin is exposed to sunlight. In fact more than 90 
per cent of our vitamin D3 supply comes from UVB rays hitting the skin and converting a type of 
cholesterol into vitamin D3. 

    Food also plays an important role in mood, as the old adage says “you are 
what you eat”. So it’s no surprise that not eating a healthy diet could be the reason you feel low,
sluggish or depressed. Serotonin is commonly known as the happy hormone, it is produced to control 
our mood, emotions and sleep. A diet consisting of the right foods and nutrients can help with t
The nutrients needed for the human body to process serotonin are vitamins B3 and B6. Vitamin 
B3 can be found in foods such as chicken, turkey, tuna, lamb and mackerel, as well as leafy green 
vegetables, mushrooms and avocados.

  Vitamin B6 is mostly in foods such as leafy green vegetables,
beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. You can also vastly improve your mood by using your sense 
of smell to trigger certain areas of the brain which affect mood. The use of Aromatherapy can trigger 
emotional as well as physical responses that often help transform our mood
In times of stress remember to laugh, love, and reflect on the good things in your life. Cultivating 
these things can change your mood as well as heal.