Pets are cute and cuddly, but they can also teach us a few things. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit or chinchilla, find out how much you can learn from your furry friend.
Pick a task — and stick to it
You’ll never see a dog or cat multi-tasking. Whatever they’ve set their mind to — from playing fetch to stalking a mouse through the backyard — that will be the one thing your cat or dog is focused on. Taking on multiple tasks at once can often feel like the best route, but it can be stressful and even cause you to get less done than you’d hoped. Do one thing really well versus trying (and possibly failing) to do seven things at once.
Just like kids, pets are always curious about their surroundings — new sounds, sights and smells continually excite and amuse them, making life infinitely interesting. Take a page from Fido’s book, and remember to be curious about the world around you. Look beyond your daily routine, and discover new pleasures in your life.
Dogs need to go for walks every day — and they want to. You usually don’t have to drag your pooch away from the television to get him out the door and moving; he’ll be excited to go. Learn from that, and embrace daily jaunts. Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight, keep stress at bay, improve your mood and even boost your immune system.
You don’t have to tell your cat to chill out and relax — she can do that on her own just fine. Learn from your fluffy friend, and give yourself a chance to shut off your brain. Either take a quick nap to recharge, or simply take 30 minutes entirely to yourself with no distractions.
Make time to play
With so many responsibilities and endless to-do lists, adults often forget to have fun. Look to your pets and their continual silliness for a gentle reminder that playtime is important at any age. Head to the park with the family or off to the amusement park with friends, or just act like a kid again to let off steam and inject more enjoyment into your day.
Show your love
Pets have no problem showing their love. Sure, cats can be a little less affectionate than dogs, but for the most part they have their means of letting you know you’re appreciated. Do as your pets do, and remember to show those around you how much they mean to you on a daily basis.
As much as they show love, pets also have no problem receiving it and will let you know when it’s time for you to pay attention to them. Don’t be shy about asking for what you need from your loved ones, whether it’s a hug, a shoulder to cry on or just someone to vent to about your day.
Live in the moment
Stressful situations make it tough to focus on the here and now, but the only way to really feel consistently content is to avoid worrying about the future or, worse, living in the past. Pets are great role models when it comes to living in the moment and focusing only on what they need from one minute to the next.
If you’ve ever watched your cat after she gets up from a nap, then you know that the first thing that happens upon waking is a long stretch. Try incorporating more gentle stretches into your day to increase flexibility and reduce your risk of injury as you get older.
Get along with others
Cats and dogs might not be the most likely companions, but often enough, if you’ve got one of each in your home, then they eventually learn to get along. Look for the good in the people you meet, even if at first you don’t think you’re going to like them. You might never be best friends, but having a civil relationship always trumps animosity.