Do Fish Help Relieve Depression and Anxiety?

  • Time to read: 5 min.

Animals have long played a role in providing companionship to us, and often we associate dogs and cats with this role.  Over time, other animals have come to the forefront in bonding with humans. 

Today it is not uncommon to hear about horses, pigs, rabbits, snakes, lions and tigers, oh my, fulfilling this companionship role.  Do fish help relieve depression and anxiety? Yes. Fish are not as cuddly as a dog or cat but are great companions and do help us to deal with depression and anxiety.

How Will Fish Help?

Depression and anxiety have several similar symptoms, and having an animal or fish can help. Seeking professional help from a physician or psychologist is highly recommended; however, others may choose to work through their depression and anxiety with friends, family, or spiritual support. 

If you are unable to have a pet due to allergies, rental agreements or have financial restraints that prohibit you from being able to afford a dog, cat, rabbit, horse, perhaps look at including a fish into your life. 

A fish can be a financial restraint if you purchase all the bells and whistles of an aquarium, pump, specialty fish breeds and foods, or it can be a simple purchase of a fishbowl with a few small purchases such as food, pebbles, and a betta fish.

One of the benefits of fish as pets is that they help to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere in your home. Fish are known to be very peaceful creatures, and their gentle presence can help to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of well-being. Additionally, fish are relatively low-maintenance pets, so they won’t require a lot of time or effort to take care of them.

Though limited, the research has found that fish will help with depression and anxiety, much like other animals such as dogs and cats do.

  • Restlessness – A fish can help restlessness by providing you with an object to focus on while walking around or meditating.
  • Fatigue – Often, when we are tired, we want to close our eyes and forget about the world around us. When something interesting refocuses our attention, the fatigue we felt leaves us, and our energy returns to focus on the new interest. Watching a fish, feeding the fish, cleaning the fishbowl can refocus our attention.
  • Difficulty concentrating and irritability – Have you ever been in a situation where you are only able to focus on a task for a few seconds or minutes at a time, that the depression and anxiety feel like they have overwhelmed every sense in your body? When feeling this way, having a fish to see to talk to will reassure you that you are ok can be a very positive experience.
  • Becoming less social and loneliness – Often, despite reaching out to others, you may feel no connection to another, so we become less social and more lonely. We all need connection, and we are all connected. When disconnection does occur, it is essential to connect with ourselves and with another living being.  A fish can be this connection for these moments.

Can Fish Help Me?

Fish have been underrated as a pet and in their ability to enable individuals with depression and anxiety.

The colour of a fish is majestic and glimmers in the sun. Watching their gills move in and out, undulating as they breathe. The fact that they do breathe underwater is a miracle in itself. 

The way they glide through the water, causing little ripples and how they jump out and into the water, is joyful. The eloquence that they display while flowing in and out of castles in the bowl delights. Their talent in moving plants and items about with their nose is an adventure to see. 

Their ability to rise to the surface of the bowl to eat is rewarding.  The joy in watching the countless bubbles that occur brings a smile to one’s face. Fish stimulate the senses, offer connections, which will help with depression and anxiety.

So yes, fish can help.

Fish tanks come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can easily find one that will fit perfectly into your home. Fish tanks can also be used as creative focal points in your home, and many people enjoy the aesthetic appeal of a well-decorated fish tank.

Best Type Of Fish To Purchase

First, you will need to purchase a fish tank, filter, and other supplies.

Next, you will need to choose the type of fish you would like to keep as pets.There are a wide variety of fish that can be kept as pets. Some popular options include goldfish, bettas, and guppies.

If you are interested in keeping a saltwater fish as a pet, some popular choices include clownfish, tangs, and wrasses. Be sure to do your research to find out which type of fish would be the best fit for your fish tank, home and lifestyle.

If you plan on keeping more than one type of fish as a pet, it is important to check whether or not they are compatible. Some types of fish can be aggressive towards each other, so it is important to find out if this is the case before adding them to the same tank. Additionally, some fish require special care or diet restrictions.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the path, day-to-day moments can become more positive by having an animal in your life. Having an animal a part of your life is a healthy leisure activity that offers many benefits and when exploring how to relieve depression and anxiety consider What Healthy Leisure Activities Can Do For You.

So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet that can help to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere in your home, then fish might be the perfect option for you. Enjoy the beauty around you and connect with yourself and others.

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