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8 Lessons Dogs Can Teach Us About Happiness

8 Lessons Dogs Can Teach Us About Happiness

Dogs are arguably man’s best friend. They have accompanied us since the dawn of time. Surprisingly, there are lots of life lessons that we can learn from them. Listen to these dog’s thoughts and learn the eight lessons that dogs can teach us about happiness:

1. “Rub my tummy, please”

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    How many of you dog owners agree that dog loves to be rubbed on their tummy? This very simple act alone is simple enough to make them happy. Likewise, we need to learn that happiness is actually simple.

    Lesson that we can learn: Happiness is simple. It can be as simple as spending the time with people you love. So when was the last time you went out on a date with your spouse? Do not let the busyness of life prevent you from spending quality time with the people you love.

    2. “I can play with the water forever, simply because i enjoy it”

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      Do you notice that your dog is always ready for some play time, be it chasing the ducks, playing with water, playing with balls, or throwing and catching sticks with you? They seem to never get tired while playing.

      Lesson that we can learn: Play matters. Don’t allow your life to become nothing more than a series of chores and obligations. Figure out what you enjoy doing, then make it a priority at least once a week. Ride your bike, read a book, draw pictures – whatever it is that makes you smile, do that. And do it regularly.

      3. “Let me curl my body near the fireplace and relax for a while”

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        Photo source: http://puppytime.tumblr.com/

        After getting tired from playing and running around, your dog loves nothing more than curling their body beside you and just be still.

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        Lesson that we can learn: Happiness can be found in quiet moments. In a chaotic world, sometimes we need some personal time (or “me” time) to just sit back, be quiet, and reflect on everything.

        4. “When you get home, I’m happy beyond belief”

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          There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as a dog who’s happy to see you. When I come home after going out to dinner, my dog’s joy is so big, she can barely contain it. It comes out in wiggles and yips as she circles our feet and races between us to greet us both, trembling with the thrill of our return. Her happiness is contagious – I catch it every time.

          Lesson that we can learn: Happiness is contagious. When you’re happy, express it, and it will be reflected back to you. Smile. Fist-bump a total stranger. Post something positive on Facebook. Chat with the check-out clerk. When you express your happiness freely, the people on the receiving end get a nice little mood boost of their own, and they spread it to others.

          5. “Screw it, I only have 10 year life-span, so I’ll do whatever”

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            Do you know that the average life-span of a dog is between 10-13 years? No wonder it seems very easy for them to make decisions. Got an interest with the female dog? Just go chase and try to woo her. Feel hungry? Nag the human so they give you food.

            Lesson that we can learn: YOLO (You-Only-Live-Once) attitude. Do not wait until the perfect moment to do the things you need to do. Need to lose weight? Do not wait until the start of new year to start over again. Do it now, and you’ll be happy with the results sooner than if you postpone it.

            6. “What? The neighbor dog stole my ball? Well, I don’t really mind. We can play the ball together”

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              When you study animal packs, there is rarely a conflict, as the members of the pack solve their problems and move on. They don’t hold a grudge or worry about what happened yesterday.

              Lesson that we can learn: Do not hold grudges. Forgiveness gives us back our power, as we regain a sense of wholeness, peace, and the ability to move on with our lives.

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              7. “I don’t want to play ball alone, play with me please”

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                A dog seldom plays with the ball by herself. She can get to it any time, but the ball on its own is boring. Her joy comes in the interaction. She wants me to throw the ball. She wants me to chase her. She wants me to ask her to give it back. (She doesn’t so much want to give it back.)

                Lesson that we can learn: Things won’t make you happy. People will. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while and make plans to get together.

                8. “Hmm, I can sense that my owner is happy, so probably I will get more food today”

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                  Photo Source: http://drdvmd.com/human-medicine-is-going-to-the-dogs/

                  Many of us have not developed a sense of intuition, or we have lost touch with our intuition. We listen to words but neglect our inner feelings. We may feel uneasy about a certain situation, but neglect what our body is telling us.

                  Lesson that we can learn: Dogs understand what is going on beneath the surface, as they are led by their instincts and rely on their gut reactions. We have these clues as well. Hone in on your intuition and it will guide you to a life of peace and serenity.

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                  Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                  Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                  You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                  This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                  Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                  There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                  How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                  When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                  Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                  1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                  One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                  The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                  Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                  2. Be Honest

                  A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                  If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                  On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                  Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                  3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                  Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                  If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                  4. Succeed at Something

                  When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                  Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                  5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                  Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                  Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                  If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                  If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                  Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                  6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                  Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                  You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                  On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                  You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                  7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                  Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                  Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                  Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                  When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                  Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                  In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                  Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                  It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                  Final Thoughts

                  When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                  The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                  Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                  Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                  Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                  More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                  Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                  [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                  [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                  [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                  [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                  [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                  [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                  [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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