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At least, that's what I've experienced.

We all have different types of personalities, and one of the things that is unique about my personality is that I'm a little high-strung, a little anxious. I would tend to worry when maybe a different person would simply put it out of their minds.

ANYWAY...

I've known about this for a long time, and it does reflect upon my body sometimes. I'll clench my teeth, or furrow my brow, or hold my muscles tightly, unconscious that it's going on. I have to concentrate to relax.

However, I've found a natural, healthy, no-bad-side-effect, but HIGHLY addictive remedy to that: pet rats!

There is something about my two boys that always bring me "up," and I've taken notice that, when I'm with them, my body is hardly ever "clenched." If we're out, running around and playing, I tend to be smiling, and laughing, and thus not anxious. Conversely, if it's a "relax/pet" time, I find that very, very relaxing as well. Boo is getting to be the age where he likes to be pet, but Gus absolutely LOVES pets, and he's actually a big enough rat where I feel justified in calling them "massages." (I give Gus long, diverse pets, which run the gamut from light touching of his face and scritching behind his ears, to big, kneading type actions around his body, and stroking up and down his spine and onto the base of his tail.)

This has GOT to be a health improvement...I can feel it! As a matter of fact, when Gus is sleepy, I'll move him onto my bed, next to me, and give him a massage; he sleeps, and I relax.

I would bet that, if you tested my blood pressure and pulse and that kind of thing, you'd get a much better reading when I was doing "rat things."
 

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I think it's fairly proven that pets of any type can make a big difference in stress relief and for health in general. That's why they take animals in to hospitals to visit with patients; it helps them relax. :D
 
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