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How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets

How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets

Spring will soon dawn upon us. We will enter the next phase in the circle of life and leap into the new year. Each season represents a new state of being: spring means growth and prosperity; summer means to live, laugh, and breathe; autumn means to endure and reflect; winter means to be patient and move forward.

As excited as we are for the change in seasons, so are our pets. Finally, they get to run around in the yard or the park without having to worry about the cold or slipping on ice. Any day now, they’ll be able to park themselves in the backyard and snooze in the warmth of the sun. It’s a perfect setting for all pets, from guinea pigs to large dogs!

So how can you make this time of year the best spring for your pets and how can you have the best spring with your pets? If you are bored of the same routine of going on walks or runs with your pets and hope to plan for something more exciting and fun to do with your best pet friend, look no further. Here are a few tips you can use to spice things up with your pet friend(s) this spring:

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1. Have a Picnic in a New Spot

Picnics are a common activity that we all do during the spring while taking advantage of the warm sunshine and the fresh new blooms. The liveliness of spring is contagious for all. Most of the time, we prefer going to the nearest park or recreational area that is right around the corner from where we live to indulge in sunny weather and picnic behavior. Therefore, the act itself can become pretty repetitive and eventually get boring. If spring is all about growth and progress, why not change your scenery?

Take your picnic lunch, your pets, and head somewhere close to the countryside. Enjoy a day there and allow your pets to explore the nature based on their own instincts. While cats prefer being indoors, dogs love the outdoor sun. Surprisingly, time spent outside could still be beneficial to them both. Case in point, being able to breath fresh outside air might be perfect for your feline friend and running around the land to explore the new scenery might increase your dog’s dopamine levels and keep them healthier and happier, a benefit to them both.

Plus, constantly keeping them active and energized reduces their chance of mortality and increases their metabolism and keeps your dogs nice and fit.

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2. Pick an Endurance Activity

Humans and animals have various similarities. We are all born very intuitive, however, as humans, we prefer logic over intuition. We are also gifted with a great passion for succeeding. This, among other reasons, is why we bond closely to our pets and why we sometimes sense they relate to us. It’s an incredibly unique feeling and one that lends itself to our shared enjoyment of endurance sports. Who better to experience endurance sports with than your pets?

Go for a hike or a slow bike ride. Hiking is usually the best because your pets can exercise their animal instincts unhinged while you guide them.[1] Of course, you will not be speaking the same language, but you will be connecting on a different level, a connection purely based on emotion and understanding.

Some might argue that these activities are not for all pets, however, as long as you’re not trying to take a pet snake up a mountain or swim with a leash on your goldfish, then you’re fine. Typical house pets, such as cats and dogs, are ordinarily used to the wild because they are born hunters. Thus, this trip will challenge their senses while being physically and mentally stimulating for them.

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3. Go on a Camping Trip

Camping is fun and is an exciting way that we get back to the basics. Although camping has now taken a bit of a modern twist to fit our standards and lifestyle, it’s always best to return to the bare necessities when possible, enjoying your time without the internet and fully embracing nature. A camping trip is always fun when there’s a large group of people or, in our case, a large number of pets.

Some might find this intimidating. However, if your pets are well-trained, then you can definitely have tons of fun exploring and having adventures with them. This will also allow your pets to bond with you and your friends, for them to identify their scent and feel comfortable. For animals, sometimes it’s harder to adapt compared to humans, so a group activity allows your pets to bond with you in their presence.

Remember for you pets, no one else matters but you.

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4. Have a Family Cookout Session

Spring is the perfect time for outdoor grilling. It’s the perfect time to have all your family members together and for a family with a new addition at home (a new pet or a new baby). It’s also a great time to induce the bonding session between all involved. Food brings us together, no matter the species, so spring and a cookout are the perfect way to bring a family closer together.

If you have a new baby, allow your pet to be close to him or her and to get a sense of feeling protective. Give your baby the time to touch, feel, and start accepting the baby as its company. Pets usually reduce the stress of a new parent by 20%, as they help keep the baby company and help reduce how much they cry.

On the other hand, if you have a new pet that’s joining your family, it will be the perfect time to let the pet bond with everyone in the family, especially if that pet has been adopted. They’re probably much more cautious and afraid of strangers so having a social gathering allows them to retreat when they need to, but also gives them the comfort of being part of the family.

Sometimes, just like humans, our pets need the sense of assurance too. To feel at home, to be loved, to have fun, and to create memories. They dream just as we do, so it is our job to ensure they’re having the best dreams.

Featured photo credit: Google Images via itsaheartfullife.com

Reference

[1] Online Casino Reports: Animal Instinct

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

3. Get Present in the Moment

Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

How to live a stress free life by being present

    The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

    To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

    4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

    The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

    Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

    In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

    In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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    5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

    Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

    How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

    If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

    6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

    You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

    If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

    Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

    7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

    Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

    I get it.

    By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

    When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

    Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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    8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

    For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

    No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

    One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

    Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

    Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

    9. Stop Reliving Your Past

    To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

    When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

    Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

    People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

    10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

    There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

    The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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    Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

    11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

    Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

    What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

    Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

    Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

    Final Thoughts

    An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

    Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

    You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

    More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

    Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

    Reference

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