How Dogs Inspire Us to Live More Mindfully
When we spend time with our dogs, it provides us the opportunity to be more mindful, to purposefully focus our attention on the present moment, without any judgement. It allows us to take moments to appreciate simple everyday experiences.
It is not a surprise that the company of dogs have a healing effect in many of our lives. Not only dogs make us healthier, happier and more resilient, but they also have the ability to get us out of our ego mind and get into the now.
Undoubtetly, dogs are mindful creatures that can teach us how to live more mindfully. Here's how:
Be silly & simply have fun
Dogs remind us to be goofy, to let loose and take life a little bit less seriously. We spend too much time worrying about the pros and cons of each course of action and how that might make us feel. What if sometimes we just went for it without thinking too much?
Dogs are a good reminder to embrace silliness, to express ourselves and to make sure we do the things that make us happy. Because life is much more amusing when you dive right in, even if you get dirty, look silly or have no other purpose than to simply have fun.
Forgive & forget
Dogs don’t have the ability to think any other way than to accept. They forgive, forget, don't hold onto feelings of anger, sadness or resentment.
As humans, we get sucked into ruminating and end up with negative thoughts. It is normal to feel upset or angry with other people sometimes. However, it’s not healthy to be stuck in the same state of hostility for lengthy periods of time. It's important to learn how to leave the past in the past, let go and move forward.
Curiosity is part of a dog's personality. They marvel at the snow falling from the sky, chase the sound of squirrels and happily sniff anything or anyone we pass by. Dogs have this urge to explore and to gain information about the world around them, especially new things.
We are born curious, but as we grow older that sense of wonder escapes us. Dogs remind us to keep learning, take risks and seek surprises. Discovering new things can give us pleasure and boost our sense of wellbeing and achievement. It's a big world out there to be curious about!
Take time to meditate
With the hectic schedules and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. What is great is that meditation doesn't have to take much of your time. It can be done daily by simply being with your dog.
Meditating can be achieved in many ways, as long as our mind has nowhere else to go then where it stands, and our surroundings are quiet and devoid of distractions. Whether you are going for a walk through the woods, or simply sit still under the sunshine with your pooch, you have the opportunity to feel more grounded, centered and calm. If you're unsure how to do it, just watch your dog, it'll teach you.
Meditation is not about escaping from the present moment, it's about embracing it. And it can simply be done by taking a few minutes of our busy day and spending time with our furry companion.
Dogs don't care what we look like, what we do, or where we're from. Furthermore, they don't care about what car we drive, what house we live in or what clothes we wear. They love us for who we are: their favourite human, their best friend. Their loyalty and companionship improve our emotional well-being. They are always there to make us laugh, to lick our tears, to calm our anger, without expecting anything in return (okay maybe a treat or a tap on the head). They will love us like nothing else matters and that's their main purpose.
Sometimes we tend to forget to take the time to show the ones we love how much we really love them. Dogs remind us that unconditional love is the purest and the most beautiful form of love. They show us how necessary it is to practice it and show it everyday.
Live the moment
Dogs have the wisdom of the moment. They teach us to focus on what we're doing right now, tuning our thoughts into what we’re experiencing in the present moment rather than bringing back the past or imagining the future. They teach us to slow down, to think less and feel more, and to stop doing and start being. Futhermore, they inspire us to appreciate every little detail that surround us.
Dogs are great mindfulness gurus: They teach us the simplicity of things, and remind us to be silly, to stay curious, to forgive and forget, to be loyal to those who love us, to stop and smell the roses (and everything else), to appreciate every moment we meet and to always enjoy the journey. They teach us the beauty of simply being and inspire us to live life more adventurously and mindfully.