I love this, but I also feel like... 'you actually needed to do a study to figure this out?'

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Washington State University did a study that shows that petting a dog or cat for 10 minutes can significantly reduce your stress.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” said Patricia Pendry, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Human Development. “Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.”

They did a study with 4 groups of students that totaled roughly 250 people.  The study measured cortisol levels.

“We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions,” Pendry said. “What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.”

So, as we always knew- get a pet!

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