In my recent blog post, What Do Pets Really Want? I discussed how the best Present you can give your pets is your undivided Presence.
Your pets appreciate and benefit when you're able to sit quietly with them. They understand everyone wins we stay present and centered in mind and body.
One way to become Present is by practicing Mindfulness, which is a lot easier said than done given our busy lives, endless distractions, and thoughts.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindful.org defines Mindfulness, "as the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us."
Animals are naturally mindful because they instinctually live in the here and now, not in the past or future like humans tend to do. They are keenly aware of what's going on around them since their lives depend on it.
Pets absolutely know when humans are overwhelmed and reactive and prefer it when the energy around them is peaceful, calm and balanced.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
Living mindfully is about consciously being in the present moment where the animals live. The more mindful you become, the more aware you'll be of your animal family's thoughts and feelings making it easier to communicate and understand your animals' viewpoints.Practicing mindful living teaches us how to redirect conditioned responses to prevent overreactions or feelings of being overwhelmed with what's going on in our thoughts and environment.
Unlike animals, humans have to consciously work at being mindful because we experience 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This endless mind chatter takes us into the past or future, which doesn't exist for animals.
When our thoughts take over, it’s hard to stay present because our awareness is wherever our thoughts take us which can then be projected onto our animal families.
As humans get lost in thought, pets wonder where we go, especially when our thoughts lead to overaction and projections.
It doesn't help when we place judgments on our continuous thoughts which takes us even further away from giving our pets our undivided attention.
Animals are incredibly sensitive and aware of what's happening around them. They feel whatever energy our thoughts project. These projections can be upsetting for animals, especially if our minds take us to intense emotions like anger, fear, or anxiety. Sometimes this leads our pets to react to what's going on inside of us.
Mindfulness Benefits Your Relationship with Your Pets
The goal of practicing Mindfulness is to pay attention to the present moment without passing judgment on whatever thoughts may arise. It's about learning how to bring your focus and awareness back to the present over and over again.
Some of the many benefits of practicing mindfulness with your pets include providing a safe, calm, and balanced environment for them to live in.
It's healthier for you and your animal family's mind, body, and soul when we are calm and peaceful.
How to Create A Mindful Practice:
Being mindful takes conscious effort to practice. The more you work on being present with your pets, the better. Thankfully, no unique furniture or equipment is necessary to be mindful as you can do it anywhere.
It only takes 5 minutes a few times a day to increase your self-awareness in the moment.
Your animal family will thank and support you when you practice Mindfulness with them.
Simple Steps to Mindful Living:
- Take a couple of deep breaths and slowly let them out. Feel your feet grounded to Mother Earth. Continue to breathe deeply as you bring your focus and awareness to the present moment.
- As you continue to breathe, observe all that is going on around you in the present moment. Don't rush. Take your time. Just observe.
- As thoughts arise, let go of any judgments and preconceived notions. Just notice what comes up, then let them go as you allow your thoughts to flow by.
- Continually refocus your awareness onto your breath as you return your consciousness to the present moment.
- Recognize what's happening around you in the present moment including your thoughts and animal companions.
- Keep returning to the here and now as thoughts arise.
For more information about Mindful living, visit Mindful.org.