The Healing Helping Power of Fuzzy Friends

We all know that this is a stressful time for you LSAT hopefuls. So I’m always looking out for goods tips and studies on different non-time-consuming ways you can de-stress! Today I will be advocating having a pet, namely a cat or dog. Sure, they are a lot of work, but their love has been proven to calm people down and bring about actual health benefits!

Did you know that a recent study of men with AIDS showed results that those who owned pets were more likely to be less depressed than those who did not? Pets have also been proven to control blood pressure better than blood pressure controlling medication. Yes! It’s true! A recent study of New York stockbrokers showed that those who got a dog or a cat had lower blood pressures and heart rates than those who did not. When the others heard, they all went out and got pets!

Now, hopefully, your LSAT-trained brain is throwing out the words “correlation/causation flaw.” And if so, then let me wipe away the proud tears welling in my eyes at my amazing LSAT prep readers. What do we know about this flaw? Well, remember that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. If X and Y happen at the same time, there are three basic possibilities:

(1) X caused Y

(2) Y caused X

(3) Z caused X and Y

It’s possible that the correlation between X and Y meant that X caused Y, or Y caused X or that a third variable unrelated to X or Y caused both of them to occur. Now, you may be asking, “Okay, Naz, so why are you talking to us about studies that may not definitely prove anything?” Well, it is flawed for me to say that hanging out with fuzzy friends will definitely make you feel better. But, it is also true that hanging out with fuzzy friends could make you feel better. Plus, you get to hang out with fuzzy friends!

Let’s look at another study showing a correlation that could possibly be beneficial for you. See the wording I used there? A recent study showed that when people are doing a stressful task, *cough* LSAT prep, they are more likely to have less stress if their pet is with them than if a supportive friend or even a spouse is with them! So again, we wouldn’t be able to write out “If doing a stressful task with a pet, then less stress than doing the same stressful task with a loved one who is a person.” But, still, why not try out every de-stressing avenue? Especially one that includes puppies and kittens! Pets are so helpful in de-stressing LSAT students and even law students, that some law schools have begun programs during finals times where puppies are brought to campus so the students can come out of the libraries and play with them for a bit. I am not making this up. George Mason Law School has a local dog rescue bring their puppies each finals season so that the students can de-stress and the puppies can socialize! I know the University of San Francisco and Pepperdine Law School have similar programs. Even better, Yale Law School has an official law-school-stress-dog named Monty. Monty is a certified therapy dog and law students can sit and de-stress with him 30-minutes at a time. Monty even takes appointments!

So, my LSAT prep friends, if you already have a fuzzy one, I’d say take great advantage of it. Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle! If you don’t have one, I’d recommend not getting a puppy to start, unless you have someone living with you to help with the early stages. I’m a dog person, but beginning with a puppy is a lot of work and takes a lot time, which you do not have! Adopting an adult dog that is stress free is a great option! Or, the rest of my dog lovers will hate me for saying this, but, cats are great too! You can even start with a kitten if you want, because cats are very easy. I have a little black cat and a fat Russian blue cat myself, and when I was studying for the LSAT they’d sit on my lap and purr. It was very helpful and supportive and I will be forever grateful to them!

If you don’t want to make the commitment to a pet, find a friend with a pet and borrow it! Or schedule de-stress sessions at your friends house!

Happy Studying!

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