Finding yourself in a situation where you don’t feel yourself and normal day to day tasks become difficult may suggest you’re struggling with a mental health issue. Though you might not need to worry as this is normal and many people also suffer, but there’s no point in suffering in silence. There are plenty of things you can do to try and help yourself, many people will give therapy a go and in most cases, it’s very successful. Others will try and use medication whilst some will attempt to exercise their way out of feeling down. There is one way that isn’t as widely used but should be looked at by everyone that is struggling with a mental illness — having an emotional support animal. 

If this sounds like the best start for you then you might want to know if the pet you already own could qualify as an emotional support animal. If you don’t own a pet yet, then having information on the best way to get an ESA will be a brilliant start to your recovery. However, you need to know if you qualify to have an ESA. This can be done by acquiring an ESA letter. The licensed mental health professional from pointed out that getting an ESA letter can be a strenuous process and it would be too much for a person who’s already suffering from emotional distress. Luckily, there’s a free screening test available online that will make the process a lot easier. Having an ESA can help improve your lifestyle in so many ways and is worth seriously considering. 

Increase Activity 

One of the best forms of medication in terms of mental health is exercise, it’s something that’s overlooked by so many because they feel they can’t or they aren’t good enough to get out and go for a run. This is where having an ESA comes in handy, it’s not just yourself you’re thinking of here, if you get a dog, then you have to go outside for a walk and in turn are getting exercise yourself. The bond between you and the dog grows stronger, not just they’re able to provide you with more emotional support, but you’ll also feel better to go out for a 5-mile walk. 

Improved Physical Health 

In direct correlation to the previous paragraph, increasing our activity will not only help our mental health but will improve our physical health enormously. Having reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression will help contribute to your physical wellbeing. Seeing yourself become a healthier person will help you grow in confidence and allow you to tackle situations you would otherwise find stressful. All in all, getting active and becoming physically healthy is a great way to start your healing process. 

Reduce Stress 

Stress can come in many forms, as can anxiety and we often find ourselves feeling anxious about the smallest of things. This is normal, especially when going through hard times and should be acknowledged by yourself, the first step in helping us to acknowledge our problems. Getting an emotional support animal is a brilliant way to help ease that stress and anxiety, they’re around you all the time offering unconditional support. It’s been shown that even having an animal around can help ease the initial stress of any situation, and with that reduced stress means there’s less chance of things happening such as panic or anxiety attacks. 


Humans have been dealing with loneliness for centuries by keeping animals with them, and it’s for good reason. Having an animal around will help ease the feeling of loneliness, but having an animal that is yours and you have bonded with will make it seem like there’s someone with you at all times. Dealing with mental illness on your own is hard and difficult to process, especially when it seems as though there isn’t anyone to talk to, this is where your ESA will come into action. Talking out loud about your problems will help you understand them better yourself so being able to talk to anyone even if it is an animal will help, you will probably find you’ll get more of a response from your ESA than many humans can give. 


Sometimes the best reason for anyone to get an emotional support animal is the sense of purpose or self-worth. Many people, especially the solo agers, struggle with the thought that they aren’t worth anything or they don’t matter to anyone, and getting an ESA will show you that’s not the case. They will feel the responsibility for taking care of a pet which in turn, creates a sense of importance.

woman cat

There are so many ways in which having an emotional support animal will positively affect your life, so many in fact that it would be difficult to list them all in a comprehensive article that would be short enough to read comfortably. If you’re struggling and thinking of getting an animal, then don’t hesitate. Make sure you’ve done enough research to be sure you’re ready for that responsibility, and if you are, then find yourself your new best friend.