Be More Like Your Dog: A Lesson in Mindfulness
September 15, 2018
Over the past 10 years or so the practice of Mindfulness has invaded our lives like few other health trends. Mindfulness is the ability to live each moment as it comes without judgement and various research studies showing can help reduce stress significantly.
Dog Owners know that one of the greatest benefits of having a dog are the endless opportunities to be present in the moment with them. Essentially we are forced to practice Mindfulness with our dogs, often without realizing it.
Here are 5 ways to let your dog show you how to incorporate the practice of Mindfulness in your daily routine.
Compassion: Can you remember a time when you had a bad day at work or were going through a tough breakup and your dog was there to console you? They acted out of love and compassion and wanted to do whatever they could to help you feel better. This goes to show that even the smallest things, like a lick on the face from your dog, can help lighten an otherwise bad mood. Next time you encounter someone who is going through a difficult time, maybe there is something small that you can do to help. Perhaps a smile, hug or a few words of encouragement is all they need.
Forgiveness: Dogs can teach you a lot about forgiveness. I’m sure there has been a time or two when you forgot to take them out on their nighttime walk or skipped feeding them dinner by accident. Maybe you left them home when you went on a vacation or stepped on their tail by mistake. Just like that, though, they forgave you. They do not hold onto resentment or anger. Instead, they greet you with love, tails wagging and all. Next time you are set in a negative mindset, it could be beneficial for you to remind yourself to take the high road and forgive someone that may have hurt you.
Make the most of every single day: Dogs are such blessings in our lives and we are so thankful for them. The true travesty is that they can live quite short lives. Each day, however, they run around making the best of everything. They live each day with joy and wonder, and that is something that we could all benefit from doing a little more of.
Treat yourself: Have you ever seen a dog turn down an extra treat because they’ve “had enough.” They accept themselves how they are and are not afraid to have an extra treat or two. You can learn from this and take some time to do what truly makes you happy. If that’s having a second scoop of ice cream, go for it!
Protection: Dogs have a great way of protecting themselves and those they care about. You can learn a lot from your dog and take action by looking out for your neighbors, friends, and family. It is also important to protect yourself but has the self-confidence and awareness that you are a good judge of character.
Overall, learning mindfulness from your dog can be very fulfilling. When people see a wiggly, tail wagging dog walking down the street, it is difficult not to smile. You can learn to focus on the present moment, and try to take a positive attitude towards your life. At the end of the day, we all want to be the people our dogs already think we are, right?