Tuesday June 18, 2019

Spending Some Time with Any Animal or Pet Can Help Reduce Stress

Why cow? Any animal can help you remain stress free

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pets
Pets give us the love and support we need to help cope with psychological conditions.

Not just the cow but spending some time with any animal or pet at home can keep you calm and relaxed, say doctors.

Reacting to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur’s comment that rubbing a cow, from the back towards the neck, can cure your blood pressure, Dr B.M. Doda, senior physician at Walia Nursing and Maternity Home in Delhi, said that any pet can calm you and, may be, keep your blood pressure in check.

“There is nothing special about cows as spending quality time with any animal will keep your stress-free,” Doda told IANS.

Several studies have suggested in the past that when we live in a constant state of fight-or-flight from ongoing stress at work and the frenetic pace of modern life, physical changes take their toll on our bodies, including raising our risk of heart disease and other dangerous conditions.

Animals can serve as a source of comfort and support. Contact with pets seems to counter this stress response by lowering stress hormones and heart rate.

According to the latest research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people who have a pet have healthier hearts, are homesick less often and make fewer visits to the doctor.

“Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. Pixabay

How do animals help? One study says that pets boost our oxytocin levels.

The “bonding hormone” enhances social skills, decreases blood pressure and heart rate, boosts immune function and raises tolerance for pain. It also lowers stress, anger and depression.

Twitter users, however, slammed Thakur’s other claim that she was a cancer patient and was cured after she consumed cow’s urine along with “panchgavya” mixed with ayurvedic herbs.

Also Read- Fixing Algorithms Won’t Curb Fake News on Social Media

“I’m a doctor too. And no, stroking a cow won’t relieve high blood pressure. And cancer? Certainly not. Believing in one’s culture isn’t about talking senselessly,” tweeted a Twitter user that goes by the name of @shreyaamishra07.

“No amount of belief can excuse the kind of unverified, non-scientific claims that Sadhvi Pragya is propagating as a cure for cancer,” tweeted @tapasya_s.

The crux of the matter is, when it comes to living life stress-free, keep a pet at home as you do not have to specially visit a gaushala for that. (IANS)

Next Story

Don’t Stand and Eat, it May Up Stress and also Mute Taste Buds

The vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system

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Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down. Pixabay

Researchers have found that spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down.

The researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.

“This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes,” said study lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress. Pixabay

The research team found that the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate.

This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.

This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.

When people experience discomfort, foods that normally taste good do not appear as pleasant to the palate, said the study.

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The research team confirmed their hypothesis by having 350 participants rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.

They expanded the study by inducing additional stress and asked participants to try fruit snacks while carrying a shopping bag. Both sitting and standing participants reported the additional weight made the food item taste even worse. (IANS)