Learning comes from all sorts of unexpected places, one of which is our pets. Those of you who know me, know that I love animals, particularly my little Princess Bella! I rescued her a few years ago and she's made a great addition to my family, both at home and at the office.
Having a pet can be quite a commitment, but it’s so worth it as pets offer a constant source of love, laughter, companionship, and wisdom. Here are 8 life lessons that I’ve learned from my pets, which you can implement into your own life!
1. Live In the Now
Pets live in the moment, they enjoy simple pleasures and celebrate every day. They don't think about what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. Personally, focusing on the present moment helps me to reduce stress and increase joy throughout the day.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Most pets know instinctively how to live a balanced life. They get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, eat when they're hungry, and they love to exercise and expend all their energy. Humans tend to struggle with this even though we have a lot more control over what we do and when we do it. Remember to take after your pet and take care of yourself. :)
3. Learn Responsibility
Having a pet takes the focus off of yourself. It teaches you to be responsible for and take care of another living thing. Part of my daily success ritual involves waking up early to take Bella outside. Establishing a routine like this has been great for both of us because it gets our day off to a great start. Even if you don’t have a pet, creating a daily routine is super important for your overall well-being and success.
4. Remember to Take a Break
Many of us work hard and have super busy schedules, but we also need to realize the importance of taking a break every once in a while. Nothing beats taking a moment to play with a pup when you're in the middle of a stressful day. I'm so grateful that I realized this when I was launching Mind Movies as a company years ago. Things could get pretty intense and I quickly found that taking a coffee break and heading to a nearby dog beach for 15 or 20 minutes always helped me to refocus and get back on track.
5. Get Out Every Day
Every dog I know loves to go outside and be active. Simply saying the words "Wanna go outside?" or "Let's go for a ride!" or even grabbing a leash without saying a thing can evoke a frenzy of excitement. Getting a little fresh air, sunshine, and exercise is good for everyone!
6. Wag Your Tail When You're Happy
Okay... so you don't have to actually wag your tail, but you can easily smile more and make it obvious you're in a positive vibration state. Your happiness is contagious and can lift the spirits of others too.
7. Know When You've Messed Up, Then Get Over It
How many of you have a pet that shows guilt when they know they've done something wrong? They hang their head, lower their tail, and they can't look you in the eye... it's written all over their face. But shortly after, they move on with their life and forget that it ever happened. Are you able to shake negative emotions off so quickly? I encourage you to give it a go the next time you encounter a challenge. Face it, deal with it and then... let it go. :)
8. Communicate Patience and Unconditional Love
Pets can read our emotions. I've learned I have to be patient and flexible when it comes to training Bella and she has taught me more about unconditional love in the process. One of the training techniques I've adopted is to use the LOA to reinforce positive behaviors.
For instance, if Bella is barking, I don't just yell "Stop barking" because she hears me say "bark," she feels my energy, and she responds in a negative way. I instead speak to her quietly and let off the calm energy that I want her to return to me.
Again, even if you don’t have a pet of your own, these lessons all still apply and can help you experience more happiness on a daily basis - so give them a try. :)
And before you go - if you haven’t had a chance to check out my podcast ‘Not Over, Just Different’, I encourage you to click here to listen, today!
During each episode, I interview special guests to discuss how as women, we can gracefully face life’s next new chapter. Join me for some deep, raw, and candid conversations about everything from health, aging gracefully, relationships, and how to squeeze the juice out of life.
Enjoy! And remember to share your comments about this post below. I love hearing from you!
*The Mind Movies team has updated this post on August 10th, 2020 to include the latest information for our readers.*
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.