It is said that you either love dogs, or you’re a psychopath. Dramatic as it may be, love them or not, dogs are one of the most loyal companions humans will ever have by their side. They are not only cuteness overload but are also lovable, loyal, and dependable. They might not come off wise on the surface, but if you mindfully watch how they go about life, you’ll realize that there’s a lot of value to derive from them.
Here are a few great lessons about life that dogs teach us.
- Live In The Present
Most animals aren’t crippled with anxiety about the future or regrets about the past. They literally take each moment and each day exactly as it comes. Dogs are no exception to this rule. They beautifully devour the present. You have no control over the past, and you can only control the future to a certain extent, if at all, so loosen up and enjoy what is presently there and under your control, the present and the now.
- Go With The Flow
Almost 100% of the time, dogs have no idea where they’re headed to when they get in the car for a ride. But that doesn’t stop them from being 100% excited about it. For them, the journey is just as remarkable as the destination. They bring the same level of enthusiasm to both. Humans tend to forget to enjoy the journey, the little moments that come with it. They become too focused on the target. Goal setting and focus is essential but do not let it deter you from savoring the process as well.
- Be Yourself
A dog doesn’t care if you like his particular breed, his color, or whatever else. They are who they are. If they want to roll foolishly on the grass or run excitedly inside a pool for a swim, they do just that. They’re happy, and they aren’t afraid to express it. People tend to be consumed by fear of what others think of them, which makes them hesitant to undertake pleasurable activities. Fall in love with every bit of your personality. It will increase your self-confidence. In the long run, you’re the only one who is stuck with you for life. Therefore, it is vital that you ensure you are comfortable with who you genuinely are.
- Use Your Intuition
How many situations have you been in that gets you thinking, in hindsight, that you had a feeling about it all along? Well, dogs would never be in such situations willingly since they always follow their instincts about everything. As humans, our instincts are what we call intuition. It is that mysterious illogical force that compels you to do, or not do, something or to trust, or not trust, someone or something. The more you practice trusting your intuition, the more you can actively guide yourself through life. That inner voice is worth listening to.
Loyalty is synonyms to dogs. No animal is as loyal as the domesticated dog. Dogs are there for you through thick and thin. Once they believe you are their person, that’s it. They will defend you at all costs. That’s as loyal as loyal gets. It is unfortunate that when loyalty is put to the test, very few people remain faithful. Don’t just be loyal when it’s to your own personal advantage. Live your life as a quality human being who has depth and can be trusted by your loved ones.
Sometimes we don’t do right by dogs. We might end up lashing out at them because we’re having a bad day. They retreat and let you be. But if you sermon them back to you once again, they come prancing and wagging around their tail ready to please you like nothing ever happened. Dogs don’t hold grudges. They are always willing to give you an infinite number of chances. Holding hard feelings and grudges weighs you down emotionally and can even affect you physically as it links to your immune system. It’s not worth it. Choose to forgive, forget, be happy, and move on with life.
- Love Unconditionally
Dogs don’t care what mood you’re in when you come through the door. They will still greet you excitedly. Even when you chase them away, they will patiently wait for you to be ready to hang out with them again. It’s a difficult undertaking to love unconditionally, but surely, the world would be a better place if everyone practiced loving each other through both good and bad days.
Dogs love to play, for exercise and for the sake of enjoyment and happiness. In the name of being mature or the interpretation of maturity by society, people stop playing when they reach a certain age. Being an adult translates to be all about work and seriousness. Incorporating some play and silliness into daily routines has various benefits. It keeps burnout at bay, re-ignites creativity, makes us feel better emotionally, and overall, improves our relationships with ourselves and others.
Dogs instinctively know the importance of stretching. Every time they get up, you’ll see them do what’s famously labeled as the downward facing dog movement in yoga, or some version of it, to stretch their limbs. Humans spend a considerable chunk of time sitting down hunched on devices, which negatively impacts the body leading to rigid and tense muscles. Adopting routine stretching keep muscles flexible and healthy. Also, yogis say that doing the actual downward facing dog pose is excellent for reenergizing and rejuvenating the entire body.
- Spend Time In Nature
To a dog, everything interesting happens outside, and rightfully so. They enjoy interacting with the environment, from prancing on ocean water to rolling on the grass to smelling/peeing on every tree they run into. At the end of the day, people are also animals with the same basic need. Therefore, regular interaction with nature is important for our well-being. It reduces stress and is a great emotional and physical boost.
You could argue that dogs don’t have the same emotional capabilities that humans do, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is a lot to appreciate and learn in how they perceive life. They go through life carefree and live it authentically. It is as if they know how short life is. They’re happy, faithful, forgiving, engage their muscles, and interact with mother nature often. And more importantly, they trust the process.
Imagine how great life would be if we applied these lessons to our lives. So to the overthinkers and worriers, the compulsive planners and anxiety-ridden, take a cue from your furry friends and relax. Smell the roses, feel the rain, and enjoy the ride.