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Study Finds Playing With Dogs Reduces Stress & Anxiety

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Looking for a quick fix to help lower your anxiety and stress levels? Playing with your dog will do exactly that. A new study has found that engaging in playtime with your canine companion can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, as well as boost your memory and concentration.

Interacting with dogs boosts concentration and reduces stress

A research team from Konkuk University in South Korea recently conducted a study to determine the mental and emotional benefits that humans get from spending time with a dog.

For accurate results, the researchers used an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure the participants’ brain activities and drew their conclusions from these recorded electrical brain signals.

The study involved 30 adult participants engaging in different activities with a 4-year-old female Poodle named Aro, as per New York Post. These activities included playing with Aro, photographing, massaging, feeding, hugging, and walking her.

According to CNN News, the study participants first had to sit and stare at a blank wall for about three minutes to ensure nothing made them mentally stimulated prior to meeting Aro.

Thereafter, every participant engaged in all the mentioned activities with the well-trained Poodle, each activity lasting approximately three minutes. During this time, the participants had EEG sensor discs, attached to their scalps. These discs, often painless, pick up electrical activity in the brain.

Researchers discovered playing and walking the Poodle made the participants’ brains emit stronger alpha waves, which are associated with relaxation, lower mental stress, and better memory. Moreover, the research team found that as the participants massaged and played with Aro, their brains released more beta waves, often linked to increased concentration and alertness.

Furthermore, the scientists noted all participants experienced lower stress levels and an uplifted mood overall after engaging in all activities with Aro.

Commenting on these remarkable findings, the researchers said in a statement: “This study demonstrated that specific dog activities could activate stronger relaxation, emotional stability, attention, concentration, and creativity by facilitating increased brain activity.”

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