Huffpost Women

De-Stressing Inspiration From Cats And Dogs (PHOTOS)

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DOGS AND CATS RELAX
Alamy

After a long, hard day on the job, there's nothing like a loving tail-wag or an empathetic purr to help you feel at peace.

Pet owners will tell you that their dogs and cats help them de-stress and feel good, and there's science to back those claims: Studies have shown owning a pet makes you more likely to be happy and have a better sense of self. An office dog might even help to lower workers' stress.

Those with pets at home could also have a lower risk for dying after a heart attack, better ability to stabilize blood pressure in response to stress and a more adaptable heart rate.

And even if you don't have the means to care for an animal of your own, the physical act of petting a dog could boost your levels of oxytocin -- those feel good hormones -- while reducing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Since our animals possess all these relaxation powers, we thought it'd be fun to see how they de-stress -- hey, perfecting the piano and retrieving the mail can be stressful, for sure!

So we asked you to send in photos of your pets at their most relaxed. It looks like there's a lot we stressed out humans can learn: from sitting on a favorite cushion to contemplating in the sun. See how these cats and dogs chill out, then submit a photo of your own four-legged friend in the slideshow below.

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For more on unplugging and recharging, click here.

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