Can your pet help you practice mindfulness?
Nov 03, 2022
Smart Watch For Women
Mindfulness is the practice of grounding yourself in the present moment. It has many benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health, including improved cognitive function, lower stress levels, improved immune function, and enhanced well-being.
Regular mindfulness practice, where you consciously create opportunities to be mindful throughout the day, can help you reap these benefits. While there are many tools to help you practice mindfulness, there's one tool that can help you become an unexpected, more focused person -- and that's your pet.
Let's take a look at three ways your pet can help you practice mindfulness -- and help you become a more focused, grounded person in the process.
Pets can make you calmer.
It's hard to stay focused when you're overwhelmed with stress, your heart rate is racing, or your mind is racing a mile a minute. In general, it's easier to enter a more focused place when you feel calm. If you need to calm down -- and calm down quickly -- your pet can help.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that petting a dog for 15 minutes reduced blood pressure by 10 percent, while another study by researchers at Washington State University found that interacting with dogs and cats for 10 minutes significantly reduced cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
So if you're feeling anxious or nervous and want to get into a calmer, more focused place? Try to spend 10 to 15 minutes with a four-legged friend and you may feel calmer before you know it.
Pets can encourage you to do more mindfulness activities
Meditation is certainly an integral part of mindfulness. But mindfulness isn't just a meditation practice; You should be committed to whatever activity you are doing. So another way pets can help you practice mindfulness is by encouraging you to engage in more activities and do it in a mindful way.
"Pets help their owners stay focused by redirecting them to the present moment through valuable shared activities," says Sila Fisher, a licensed therapist at the Healthy Habits Treatment Center in Charleston, South Carolina. "These activities organically create a state of mindfulness for the owner... Because [they] allow owners to be present in the moment, and through the care and attention given to their pets, they realize the necessary awareness to be in a state of mindfulness."
For example, let's say your cat needs a bath. It's hard to multitask or think about anything else when you have a cat that hates water and tries to escape from your bathtub. Instead, you're forced to focus on the task at hand (cleaning up the cat before it escapes). This will keep you in the moment and turn shower time into a focused exercise.
Or let's say you're in the backyard playing catch with your dog. If you put your heart and soul into what you're doing and fully enjoy the experience (how could you not do that when your puppy looks cute when he gets the ball back?) "It's no longer a simple game of fetch; This is part of your mindfulness practice.
The point is, this idea of mindfulness practice is very simple. It is an exercise in which you are fully engaged in what you are doing - pets offer a variety of activities in which you can practice active participation and presence.
Pets can show you what mindfulness looks like.
If you want to become more focused, modeling yourself for focused action is a good place to start. "When you're around a mindful person, just being in their presence can help you become mindful," says Joy Rains, a mindfulness trainer and author.
What's the best example of mindfulness in your life? Your pet.
Animal brains and human brains work differently; Your pet doesn't actually have the ability to ruminate on the past or worry about the future (a common experience that can make mindfulness impossible). As a result, "pets are the ultimate example of living in the moment," says Christina P. Canzaveros, a therapist at Joshua Tree in San Diego, Calif. She is a therapist at Start Today and author of Start With a Healing Diary. "They can simply say 'yes.'"
By spending time with your pet (observing that they "simply exist"), you can see what mindfulness looks like in action and apply what you see to your own mindfulness practice.
What's more,you can wear a BP smart watch which can monitor the level of stress to help your practice.