Connect with us

Life

5 Powerful Lessons In Mindfulness We Can Learn From Puppies

Avatar

Published

on

lessons from animals

Life is hard. It doesn’t magically grant success when we want it and to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work toward it relentlessly. Life doesn’t believe in handouts. It pulls you in conflicting directions and tests your determination to succeed constantly.

To top it all off, no two people have the exact same definition of success. Success is that mysterious unicorn we are all striving toward and yet, every single person you ask has a different idea of what it is and how to get there.

We get too caught up in meeting outside definitions of success. We judge ourselves by what our friends and colleagues are doing and try to adhere to those standards. The main problem with that is that their answer is often starkly different from ours and we get frustrated because our expectations aren’t met.

As with a lot of awesome things, effective lessons often come from unexpected places. It’s time to look at the one creature that lives in the moment and see how it’s done.

If puppies could talk, these are the five lessons they’d impart in their napping, face licking wisdom:

1. Enjoy the moment

Don’t be so focused on your goals for the future that you forget to live today. When you are working toward your dream career and your dream life the “now” often feels boring and petty. It’s just a long to do list, with endless tasks you haven’t done yet. “Now” is frustrating because you aren’t where you want to be.

Planning is great but, if you lose track of the present, you are in danger of missing out on some pretty wonderful stuff. Take a breath, drop that list for a second and be present. What are you grateful for right now? What’s amazing about your life today? This exact moment is never going to come back around, don’t miss the opportunity to revel in it.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

2. Take the time to do nothing every day

Our lives are busy. We are in a state of constant motion; going to meetings, checking our phones, answering emails and running errands. There’s always something competing for your attention. It’s exhausting. Puppies, on the other hand, spend about 30% of their day doing nothing.

They are onto something. Spending time being mindful and not doing anything helps us process what’s going on and quiets the noise in our minds.  According to a study by the North Arizona University, it decreases stress and depression and increases overall well being and happiness.

So, next time it feels like the walls are closing in on you, be like a puppy and truly enjoy a few minutes of just existing.

 

3. Do something goofy

Puppies roll on their backs, paws flailing above them, pawing at the air, mouth open, tongue rolling out, laughing.

Laughing often and consistently is pretty much one of the best things you can do for your health. It decreases stress and pain and makes the world seem like a better place. Laughing anchors us to a particular moment in time and allows us appreciate the small moments of joy.

 

4. Be fully present when you meet new people

My dog treats every other puppy he sees as a long lost friend he can’t wait to be with again and, most of the time, the response is incredibly similar. He doesn’t think about why that pup may not like him or might not be in the mood. He puts himself out there.

What does meeting new people have to do with mindfulness? Everything. We get into our own way when making connections. We bring baggage from past experiences and difficult encounters and unwittingly, create a protective barrier between us and the other person.

Focusing on the moment and on that new person gives a clean(ish) slate and allows for more honest communication.

“I love meeting new people; I think everyone has a story to tell. We should all listen sometimes.” – Kim Smith

5. Greet every day with excitement

When was the last time every new day felt like a fresh opportunity filled with countless possibilities? These days, it’s easy to let time roll in on itself as days become weeks and months and years. We feel constantly busy and overwhelmed and time flies by us until one day we look back and wonder and think, “Where did all that time go?”

The dawn of each new day is an opportunity to start again. To get closer to your goals. To forgive yourself for the mistakes you made yesterday and think about the difference you can make today.

What animal have you learned lessons from and what were the lessons? Share your thoughts below!

Sophia Dagnon is a content writer and marketing consultant. She writes sharp, fresh copy and tests a bunch of marketing techniques so you don't have to. Connect with her on twitter or through her blog.

Life

5 Ways to Rediscover Your Purpose in Life

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. But my quintessential Indian father thought that was a terrible idea, and well, so did everybody else I knew. Eventually, thanks to nasty teachers and being in the wrong stream (IT engineering), I resigned myself to having a purposeless existence. But after graduation, I could not bring myself to conform any longer. So I dove into the world of writing. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

4 Practices to Tame Your Inner Critic Starting Today

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Given the stress and challenges of this past year, your inner critic may be at a dull roar by now. This harsh internal voice can contribute to “imposter syndrome” or a feeling that you’re not worthy of success. This roommate you would never choose might sound something like this: “I’m not doing anything well,” “I’m not as smart as my colleagues and not equipped for this job,” “I should be further along in my career; I’m stagnating,” “That person is so together,” “I am overwhelmed!” And as you listen to this inner voice, you may be thinking you are the only one in the world wired this way. The truth is, you are not alone. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

4 Ways Unresolved Trauma Is Sabotaging Your Bank Account

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

It can be easy to run headlong into burnout when you live in a hustle culture where you’re told the answer to all of your financial problems is simply to work harder. The problem is that how hard you work may actually be part of what’s stifling your bank account. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Make These 4 Mindset Shifts to Optimize Yourself and Live an Incredible Life

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

We start every year with big goals and a desire to accomplish more than any previous year. We spend each day telling ourselves that tomorrow will be the day we’re going to start living life the way we’d like to live it. There’s always an inherent desire for more on the horizon but not acted upon. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending