If you own a dog, you probably don’t need scientific studies to tell you what you already know. Your dog makes you feel better. He gives you unconditional love, after all. He seems to know what you’re feeling and mirrors those feelings back to you. Your dog can make you laugh and cry. All of those feelings—love, sharing, empathy, and more—picks you up when you’re feeling down and makes you feel less stressed. That’s common wisdom and it makes common sense—Here are 7 Ways how Dogs can make Our Lives Happier And Healthier:

7. Snuggle a Pooch to Reduce Stress

8 Ways Your Dog Helps Reduce Your Stress

There is extensive medical research that indicates canine companionship can have a measurable effect on stress reduction in humans. The American Heart Association conducted a study of people with high blood pressure. Their findings concluded that patients with dogs were able to keep their blood pressure lower during times of stress that those who did not have dogs in their lives.

6. They inspire us to exercise more frequently

Studies have shown that pet owners, on average, get more exercise, and that helps reduce both stress and depression. This is more the case with dog owners, who walk their dogs and play with them outside.

5. They lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is a sign of stress, and petting a dog can help decrease the symptoms. Even simply watching an animal can lower your blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition (and even if you haven’t) find a dog to hang out with, stat!

4. Be here now

Dogs seem to focus on the moment. Pups help us to be present in the “now” and not fret about the past or future. Your dog is probably not worrying about the time she got in trouble for eating your leftover takeout or dreading her next trip to the vet. They have so much to teach us!

3. They increase feelings of self-esteem

8 Ways Your Dog Helps Reduce Your Stress

A recent study from researchers at Miami University and Saint Louis University found that pet owners had better self-esteem than non-pet owners. They also were less fearful and less preoccupied, all of which contributed to a decrease in overall stress levels.

2. Dogs keep you regular

8 Ways Your Dog Helps Reduce Your Stress

They’re prone to routine, which can help you stick to yours. A lot of dogs have very specific eating, bathroom, sleep, and walk schedules. Sticking to a routine and schedule can reduce stress for humans who tend to run around like chickens without their heads.

1. They make us laugh

We all know that old saying about laughter as medicine. How can you not feel better and less stressed after watching the ridiculous antics of these derpballs??