Understandably, many business owners feel stressed from time to time. Wendy Johnstone, Founder of Wendy Johnstone Ltd can relate to this feeling. Wendy says: “Running my own business is one of the most stressful things that I have ever done. With a background in corporate I used to think I was constantly stressed. I didn’t know the meaning of being a healthy workaholic! However stress takes a totally new form when the business you run relies on you to generate an income, create a pipeline, to look after clients and so the list goes on.”
The Stress of Striving for Success
“I think a lot of the stress we experience as business owners is self-generated; the desire to earn a good income and to succeed can add so much pressure,“ adds Wendy.
“A new stress dynamic for me recently has been having people work with me in my business, I look back and regularly think life was easy when it was just me – though what business owner with ambition wants easy?!”
“We all have different ways to de-stress. For some it’s taking a walk, for others doing an exercise class, or maybe reading a book. It’s what works best for you that counts, and some may do more than one thing. I’m lucky. I have someone in my team who really helps me to de-stress… and that’s my rescue cat Molly.”
Cat therapy – it works!
It is well known that having a cat as a pet can work wonders for reducing a person’s stress levels. There’s nothing like the slow, gentle action of stroking a cat on your lap and listening to it gently purring in appreciative response, to calm the mind and reduce the blood pressure. Conscious of what a tremendous therapeutic effect animals can have on people, carers sometimes bring them into a hospital setting precisely for this purpose.
A cat can work wonders: it can reduce blood pressure and it can provide friendship and comfort for people who live on their own. Particularly when they are elderly or infirm and are rarely able to go out.
Stroking your cat as it purrs contentedly on your lap is clearly pleasurable for the cat, and, as most cat owners will verify, also for you.
Calming effects of a cat
According to research, your relationship with your cat may also provide you with more than pleasure – it can have an enormously calming and relaxing effect. Recent medical research has shown the effect of owning a pet can be so remarkable, it can actually help to reduce a person’s blood pressure. As a result, some hospitals, hospices and homes for the elderly now recognise the therapeutic value of animals.
Establishing a relationship with a cat can be a valuable step in a person’s ability to express their feelings again after a serious illness, which can be beneficial in a patient’s recuperative process. Many elderly people and those who are mentally ill, can be lonely. In which case a cat can provide them with much-needed companionship and will probably do a great deal to cheer them up.
Cats help in beating depression
Elderly or unwell people who go out rarely and therefore seldom talk to other people may find that they become withdrawn. This can eventually lead on to severe depression. A cat can help such individuals come out of themselves again by responding to another living being, This, in turn, can help them rediscover some of the hitherto forgotten joys of life.
Some people find that their cats help them relax and settle down for the night without having to resort to sleeping pills, A much better solution to an age-old problem.
Owning a cat can also be good for your mental health. For those people who are deeply scarred by human relations, a cat can give them affectionate companionship without the complexity and contradictions of human bonds. In time, a cat may even come to encourage such people to try again with human relationships.
For those cat owners who work from home, a cat can be a very convenient stress-beater.
“Fellow pet owners will understand. Molly has been instrumental in helping me relax over the last five years. She even has her own chair in my office. Being a business owner can be very lonely and I often chat with Molly about things that are on my mind. As co-director she thinks we should replace our team with cats! Though, I doubt our clients would find this very helpful!”
In fact, Wendy is in good company. Research shows that:
- 87% of cat owners say it has a positive impact on their wellbeing.
- 76% say they cope better with daily life thanks to the companionship of their cat.
- Owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than a third.
“With so much evidence that stroking a cat can be really therapeutic, I often think of Molly as my guardian angel, looking out for me and returning the favour for rescuing her all those years ago,” explains Wendy.
“In the same way here at Wendy Johnstone Ltd we consider ourselves guardian angels for our clients, guiding them in the right direction – getting them to that light at the end of the tunnel.
“Our clients often come to us with a number of challenges which we spend time helping them to focus and prioritise, to think strategically and to create a plan that provides a path for them to get to where they need to be.”
Would you value less stress and help with your business growth? If you have an initial discussion with Wendy, we promise that Molly won’t get involved!
Research sources: Mental Health Foundation, Cats Protection, The Telegraph
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