Monday, November 28, 2016

De-stress with a Furry Companion

What makes pets and other animals have such a calming effect on humans is their natural state of presence. Animals live in the moment; they are fully engaged in the world around them. They’re not tethered to the past, nor worrying about the future. Our lives are enhanced by sharing in their simple and unfettered existence. We are drawn to these amiable creatures through wonder, appreciation, love, and joy.

When people spend time around pets – whether they own them or not - the positive energy they exude has a calming effect on the human psyche. This type of happy vibe lowers our stress levels, and allows people of all ages to cope with stress and improve their lives in many ways, some of which are listed below.

Relaxing through physical contact
When you pet any animal, certain endorphins in your body are released which make you feel good. Of course, the animal enjoys this too, so there is a shared feeling of relaxation and peace which comes from a positive connection with another living being. This practice will automatically reduce stress on some level, depending on how fully engaged and present you are. Also, feelings of anger and resentment can fade or lessen.

Increased health benefits through pets
Interaction with your own – or someone else’s – pet can bring down things like heart rate and blood pressure. Even though pets mostly interact non-verbally, both verbal and non-verbal communication is very therapeutic for both of you. Allowing yourself to fully engage with a pet, thinking happy thoughts and speaking in loving, happy tones (like you would with an infant) relaxes the animal and actually releases hormones in your body that lowers blood pressure.

Pets have therapeutic value
In therapeutic settings, pets brought to nursing homes and hospitals have helped countless people feel better physically and emotionally. They can even help people to open up more so than other human beings in some cases, because people trust animals more, and feel safe enough to be themselves around them. In a home environment, there’s nothing like being greeted by a loving pet - who wants only to be with you - and loves you unconditionally.

Whether a pet is yours or not, if you allow yourself to “lose yourself” while interacting with them and give them your full attention, you’ll find it alleviates stress and improves your overall well-being.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Loving Where You Live Starts on the Inside

Often, when negative people are unhappy with where they’re living, they can’t wait to move. They’ll say, “I hate it here.” or “If only I could live there…then I would be happy.” If they actually wind up moving to their ideal place, they will be happy…for a while, anyway. But after the newness of the move wears off, they will be back to being miserable again, just in new surroundings.

Everything comes down to your attitude. If you approach life from a negative standpoint, you will get negative back. Someone thinking negatively would find fault with any location, no matter how wonderful it is. Living right on the beach, a negative person would complain about the sand. Living in culturally diverse and exciting city might cause this person to harp on the crowds or noise. Yet a positive person can be happy anywhere. The key — along with having a good attitude — is to see things in perspective.

Accept and Love Where you Are…Right Now.
Even if you wind up moving, you are where you are at this moment. Often, it’s the resistance to what is that makes people unhappy. If you accept that you are here, and choose to make peace with that (rather than resisting and fighting that fact), you have taken the first step to making the most out of wherever you are. Doing this will reveal to you that happiness does not rely upon where you are physically residing.

Look at Your Location Like a Tourist Would
It may sound silly, but if you adopt an attitude of curiosity and discovery (like you do when you are on vacation), you will undoubtedly learn about — and enjoy — your surroundings more. Search online and elsewhere for events, attractions and fun things to do. Try out a new dining establishment, learn your area’s history, check out a park, lake, walking trail, or other natural asset in your community.

Get involved
Chances are, you’ve been so busy being miserable that you’re not even aware of what is available right in your neighborhood. Join one of your town’s community organizations or clubs to lend a hand, meet new people, or experiment with something you’ve always wanted to try.

Looking at where you live from a different viewpoint will open the door to new experiences and perspectives.   Be mentally flexible, allow your world view to expand and see how much your life can change!