Resets: Animals

Have you ever felt stressed or anxious and been unsure of why? These feelings are a natural response by our nervous system to keep us safe. Our nervous system operates to protect us from harmful situations. Sometimes, it is overly protective, and makes us feel alarmed without cause. When we recognize feeling stressed or anxious we can resource with a reset.

A Reset is designed to help us respond differently to feeling stressed or anxious. And most importantly to get your nervous system working optimally to become more resilient. A reset can help tether us to those moments when we feel our best. When we feel our best, our system is well-regulated, and we’re able to operate from a place of clarity, compassion, and curiosity. A reset can be an exercise, an activity, or even just a reminder of those well-regulated moments. They provide an opportunity to become more aware of how we feel and the factors behind those feelings.

What keeps you feeling grounded? What helps you feel connected? Resets can vary from person to person, and once you’ve identified what resonates with you, you can utilize them to help reduce anxiety, stress, and feelings of fear. With these tools, we can navigate a stressful world in a meaningful way.

How can animals help regulate your nervous system?

Studies have shown that pets and animals can help us regulate our responses to stressful situations. Being around animals can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. The Center for Human-Animal Bonds at Purdue University has extensive research programs that study the symbiotic relationship between people and the animals they encounter. They’ve found that the nervous systems of animals and people can have a big impact on one another.

two yellow labrador retriever puppies

Let’s Explore!

Below are both linked videos and photos to explore. Before we click into either, let’s take a minute to recognize that what makes an animal feel safe to us is deeply personal. There are millions of factors, including our cultural norms, and our lived experiences. The animals included within this reset are meant to serve as a diverse and vibrant cross section of what we may experience in the world. Now that we’ve spent a minute with those facts, you can take some time to explore the videos and images linked below. Explore the videos below and remember that what feels pleasurable to one nervous system may not feel pleasurable to another. Identify which reset your nervous system finds pleasurable.