Adjusting to life with anxiety can be challenging for even the most well-prepared people.  Even if someone is lucky enough to have a support system of family and friends, adjusting to the realities of life with generalized or specific anxiety is taxing, often in the extreme.  But one thing that people may not realize is how much having a dog can help with that.

Dogs have evolved to become valuable, trusted partners of humans.  We have created a symbiotic bond between man and canine that has helped humans and dogs, and we see evidence of that every day.  A well-trained dog can offer a lot of support to humans adjusting to life, including coping with travel anxiety.

1: Mitigating Anxiety

The boundless energy and love a canine offers can be critical to adjusting to anxiety.  Some of the best dogs for depression and anxiety, such as golden retrievers, offer unconditional love.  They give their owners a constant supply of comfort and reassurance.

Dogs are helpful therapy animals for people who suffer from anxiety.  Numerous studies have shown that human-dog interaction helps reduce anxiety.  The reasons for this seem to vary, from dogs having a positive attitude to the fact that they provide such devoted love.

Keeping this in mind can help people with travel anxiety.  When getting in a car or any other mode of transportation, racing thoughts and other symptoms of anxiety can take over.  A dog provides a familiar presence and endless reassurance and love.  They’re the perfect companion to reach out to when you feel yourself tensing up from anxiety.

2: Reducing Stress

Canines aren’t just good for feel-good feelings, although that’s important too.  But the research has shown they have an actual scientific and physical effect that benefits mental health.

Interacting with dogs leads to reduced cortisol levels, the chemical a person’s body releases in times of increased stress.  For someone with travel anxiety, multiple triggers can lead to spiked blood pressure, sweating, shortness of breath, and other symptoms—these are all stress indicators.

Being with a dog or even just interacting with one before you have to leave for your travels can help ease the stress you might feel.  Those physical changes in the body from reduced stress will positively impact your mood and emotional well-being.

3: Dealing With Social Anxiety

Pets can help their owners defeat one of the most complex parts of mental illnesses: a tendency to isolate.  Isolation has the potential to make mental illnesses of all stripes worse.  For people with travel anxiety, it can be doubly challenging since travel and social interaction can compound their stress.  It’s enough to make some people not want to go out.

Pets give their owners reason to travel, whether to a beach or a dog park, and that socialization can go a long way towards preventing isolation.  Gradually adjusting to social interaction with your pet can be a great way to go out and interact with the world.

Conclusion

A loving dog is great for dealing with travel anxiety.  Whether you have them registered as an emotional support animal so that they can accompany you on public transport and airplanes, or you just have one who makes you get out of the house, dogs can help us in every aspect of our lives.