When my beloved 15-year-old Bichon, Chloe, recently died, I naturally grieved. But as time passes, rather than obtaining easier, in some ways that, it’s obtaining harder. Why? It’s not simply her physical presence that I miss; it’s that deep and real emotional attachment and therefore the continuous reminders of the way to live life.
If you pay shut attention, there are valuable – and healthy – lessons we can all learn from our dogs.
Forgiveness. Ignore your dogâ€¦scold themâ€¦ cut their walk shortâ€¦ feed them stinky foodâ€¦leave them with strangers when you go on vacation. Dogs hold no grudges; they simply move on. Healthy benefit: Living within the moment and rental go of negative feelings contributes to less stress, lower blood pressure and more happiness, which is a boost to your immune system.
Focus. When dogs have a job to do, they give that job their upmost attention. Throw a ball, and they’ll chase it – not remember mid-task that they have to go chew their bone instead. That can wait. And when they do finally chew that bone, they lie down and focusâ€¦ just on that bone. Healthy benefit: Since it’s been found that multitasking is counter-productive – affecting your attention and memory – it makes sense that focusing on one task at a time will benefit you and make you feel calmer and more accomplished.
Nap. Dogs know when they need to rest – and they honor that need. They don’t ignore it as a result of they need alternative things to try and do, or feel guilty about napping in the middle of the day. They get comfy, settle in, and sleepâ€¦deeply. Healthy benefit: Studies show that off-guard includes a host of advantages, from lowering the risk of dying from heart disease to enhancing alertness and performance.
Stretch. Dogs seldom rise from a sitting position while not stretching 1st – sometimes a series of deep, gentle and luxurious stretches, at that. Healthy benefit: Stretching not solely relieves stress, it also keeps your body limber and improves muscle strength and flexibility.
Smile. Okay, maybe dogs don’t smile (although I swear mine did), but a wag of the tail is a reliable substitute for it. Dogs express themselves without hesitation or self-consciousness. Healthy benefit: Happy folks have younger hearts and arteries, lower blood pressure and a longer life expectancy than unhappy folks; plus they’re better equipped to deal with pain and stress. Many specialists say that the mere act of smiling ends up in creating you’re feeling happy, though you were not before you turned the corners of your mouth upward.