10 Things Dogs Can Teach Us About Happiness

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There’s a lot that man’s best friend can teach us. Not only are they loyal companions but they have the ability to be mindful in the moment. This means less overthinking, less negative emotions and more appreciation for the world around them.

Here are 10 things we can learn from our canine companions!

  1. Enjoy the Present Moment. Dog’s are simple creatures which is probably the main secret to living a happy life. They’re able to focus on one thing at a time and enjoy it whether it’s a nap, eating their dinner or their morning walk. They can go from sleeping one minute to barking at the postman the next showing the ability to let go and move on from each moment and being present in each one of them.
  2. Don’t Hold Grudges and Love Unconditionally. As humans, it’s easy to hold grudges and judge others for their actions but this only comes from our fragile ego. Dogs, however, even when they’re left for a few hours, don’t hold it against you. Instead they’re more focused on being happy to be reunited with wagging tail and nothing but love.
  3. Celebrate Success. Acknowledging our successes is really important to leading a happy life and dogs do this all the time. Doing what their owner tells them to and getting a treat for it is their way of celebrating a positive success.
  4. Be Excited About the Little Things As Much As The Big Things. A walk, a new person, a bit of chicken, seeing you come home, a different smell – it’s an endless attitude of gratitude in a dog’s mind. Being thankful and finding the wonder in the small things is what happiness is all about.
  5. Trust. Dogs put their entire trust and faith in us to look after them and they do it with endless love. There’s no doubt or judgement in our capabilities which is something many of us struggle to do with each other. Having a little more faith in others builds a better connection and less resentment in relationships.
  6. They Show Themselves Compassion. When dogs are tired they’ll sleep. This may seem obvious but how many of us will work ourselves to exhaustion not looking after our health and minds. Dogs know what’s best for them and they do it because they instinctively rarely go against their needs for optimum survival.
  7. Don’t Judge Others. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your skin colour is, your religion or what job you have (unless maybe you’re a vet!) a dog doesn’t care or judge. They see everyone as the same. Dogs feed off peoples’ energy just like us but humans sometimes let preconceived ideas get in the way too. We all need to be more like a dog and be more accepting.
  8. Mindfulness. Dogs are so in tune to everything around them whether it’s a leaf falling or a squirrel running across the garden. They are aware and mindful of what’s going on and usually without the overthinking and hundreds of distractions we have. Mindfulness is another important key to being present in the moment and appreciating one thing at a time.
  9. They Enjoy The Journey. We’ve all been told happiness is the journey not the destination and dogs are a great example of this. They don’t tell themselves that they’ll be happy once they get to the park. They are enjoying the car ride there, the getting ready to go, the anticipation of knowing the park will eventually turn up. They enjoy each moment right up until they see that park through the car window. This is what a happy life is all about.
  10. Don’t Take Things So Seriously. Dogs live like every day is their last. They will have fun, spend hours playing with a stick or an old tennis ball – they aren’t worrying about what they’ll be doing tomorrow. Fun is the aim of their life.

We can’t all live a dog’s life but we can learn from how they choose to perceive the world around them and inject more of these principles into our attitude and daily habits. Next time you see a dog, let it be a reminder to you to be more like them!

Why Having A Pet Can Bring You Happiness

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If you’re an animal lover then having a pet is a great addition to your life. I’m a self-confessed dog lover. I love everything about them. I love their endless ability to be happy no matter what’s going on and the abundance of love they seem to dish out at every opportunity. I really think we can learn a lot from their unconditional state.

But what are the roles that animals play in our happiness? Pets in general can supply us with an amazing amount of happiness and here are some ways that the furry addition to your life can enhance your overall well-being.

They stop us from being lazy. Especially if you have a dog, getting outside and walking is a great benefit. Studies have shown that walking with a dog makes us walk 28% faster than if we were walking with a person resulting in dog walkers having higher fitness levels.

They make us healthier. Aside from keeping us active, exposure to animals at an early age can lower the risk of developing allergies. Petting animals produces a higher level of antibodies in our systems that fight off allergies later in life.

They help to heal us. Having a well-loved pet can lower stress levels resulting in less cardiovascular problems and lowering blood pressure caused by stress. Even people who have had heart attacks have been known to recover quicker when owning and interacting with a pet.

The ability to unite. Having pets diffuses tension resulting in more unification within squabbling families. People tend to laugh more and be more playful around animals and therefore creates a more harmonious environment.

They provide emotional benefits. It’s no secret that having a companion helps relieve loneliness and elevates our mood. Pet owners have found to be more physically fit, less lonely, suffer less from depression, are more conscientious and less preoccupied than non-pet owners. They also trigger a larger release of oxytocin which we all know is the feel-good hormone and therefore leads to a larger sense of happiness and well-being.

Any dog or cat owner can tell you how happy their pet makes them. There’s something about coming home to an excited wagging tail and the feeling of something wanting to genuinely spend time with you. There are countless benefits to having a furry friend in our life.