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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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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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