It's the most wonderful time of the year.

And, for a lot of people, also the most stressful

In addition to the 'regular' stress of job, family and whatever else you might be dealing with, there's rushing here and there, finding not only a gift but the perfect gift. There's friends and family coming over, and friends and family that you're on your way to as well. There's in-laws and neighbors, school and church functions and....argh!

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

One of the best ways to relieve that stress is take a minute or two (or three or four or five) and pet your pet. That's all. Not complicated. Just pet your dog or cat or whatever pet you might have. (I know, it's tough to pet your fish, Curtis, but maybe just sit back and look at him).

According to, there was a big study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that discovered just petting your dog (or pet) can actually lower your blood pressure. In fact, they came to the conclusion that just petting your pooch, not talking or interacting, brings the ol' pressure down.

Ahhh, doesn't that feel better?

And although I can't swear to this, I'll bet your pet enjoys it, too.

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