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Top 10 Reasons You Should Own a Pet

Top 10 Reasons You Should Own a Pet

Owning a furry companion can have many positive effects on your life. Not only do you get to live with a friend, but there are also a some hidden benefits to keeping a pet in your home. Here are ten reasons why having a pet is great for your mind, body and soul.

1. They help you form relationships

An often overlooked side effect of having a pet is that you’ll always have something to talk about with other people. Having a pet allows you to connect with other animal lovers. Even if you and the person you’re talking to can’t agree on anything else, you can at least find common ground regarding Fido. The two of you might even be able to exchange advice about the best pet foods and training techniques.

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2. They improve your health

Having a pet can help you reach your health-related goals. Whether it’s walking your dog or getting some cardio in by scrubbing away those unavoidable pet stains, keeping up with your furry friend will ensure you get some daily exercise.

3. They help fight off allergies

This one might seem totally backwards, but it’s true. Despite the television commercials where pet owners break out into uncontrollable sneezing any time their cat or dog walks in the room, pets can actually help combat allergies. Children who are exposed to pet dander or any other animal allergens typically develop stronger immune systems. Even an adult’s immune system will become stronger after having been exposed to animal allergens for a certain period, and become capable of resisting other irritants.

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4. They increase bone and heart strength

These are some of the additional health perks that come with having a pet: quicker recovery from heart issues, lowered blood pressure and even an overall lower possibility of heart attacks. Taking your dog (or cat) for a daily walk in the sunshine can improve your bone strength through exposure to vitamin D.

5. They elevate your mood

Let’s face it, there’s going to be a day when going outside seems like an impossible feat. So what’s better than having a live-in comfort provider? Studies have shown that having pets available for affection and attention can help boost your mood.

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6. They are great for all ages

Children exposed to pets have reduced chances of developing breathing conditions and skin disorders, such as asthma and eczema. The process is similar to how children can develop resistances to certain allergens. But it’s not just kids that benefit. Having a pet around can make the elderly feel less lonely. And for those suffering through Alzheimer’s, a pet’s warm presence can lead to fewer anxiety attacks.

7. They make excellent aids for medical support groups

Groups like Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Facilitated-Therapy provide pets to hospital patients in order to elevate moods, thereby aiding in the recovery process.

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8. They might not be able to speak, but they hear you loud and clear

Obviously, our pets don’t speak our languages, but they are quite aware of their owners’ emotional needs. Many people find that having a close bond with their pet provides them with an added sense of purpose, and centers them emotionally.

9. They act as warning signals for serious health conditions

One thing many pet owners don’t know is that dogs can recognize the warning signs of a handful of diseases. Some dogs can detect when a person is about to have an epileptic seizure. Others can smell cancers in their owners. Still, other dogs have even been taught to notice signs of Parkinson’s disease or diabetes, and alert their owners accordingly.

10. They provide unconditional love and friendship

One of the best perks of pet ownership is having a warm companion to come home to day after day. You will always have a walking buddy or snuggle buddy on hand when you need them.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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