It’s no secret that being around an animal can instantly lift your mood. If you’ve had a hard day and come home to a dog wagging their tail at you or a cat rubbing against your legs, it’s hard to not smile. With their adorable faces and nonjudgmental personalities, companion animals are forever bringing happiness in our lives, cementing the deep human-animal bond we share. If you’re in doubt, just look at this one photo.

The photo shared on Reddit was reportedly taken on a bus in Istanbul, Turkey and shows an older man with a black kitty in his arms, wrapped in a blanket. It’s clear the pair adore each other, given the sweet smile the man has on. The photo has since gone viral with many understandably saying he looks like “the happiest man in the world.”

 
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As any animal lover will tell you, not only do companion animals have the ability to lift our mood, it’s long been known that animals can keep you healthy and balanced in your life. From easing daily stress with hugs and pets to keeping you on the move with walks and playing, companion pets like dogs and cats are fantastic at helping maintain physical and mental health.

Pet parents are generally happier, not as lonely, and tend to be more trusting. Companion pets can also give you a sense of meaning and boost your self-esteem, and they provide you with positive mental energy, by raising serotonin and dopamine levels while decreasing cortisol, just from playing or having a snuggle session.

While we don’t know who the man in this heartwarming photo is, we are sure they will share many more years of happiness together! Be sure to put a smile on someone’s face and share this post!

Image Source: cagedragehere/Reddit