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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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                  1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

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                  Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                  How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                  How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                  For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                  If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                  Example 1

                  You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                  You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                  In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                  Example 2

                  You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                  People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                  You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                  Example 3

                  You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                  The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                  Example 4

                  You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                  Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                  If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                  Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                  • Understand your own communication style
                  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                  • Communicate with precision and care
                  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                  1. Understand Your Communication Style

                  To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                  In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                  Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                  2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                  Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                  If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                  “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                  This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                  To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                  3. Exercise Precision and Care

                  A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                  On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                  Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                  I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                  I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                  In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                  The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                  Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                  4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                  Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                  In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                  “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                  Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                  Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                  It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                  It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                  It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                  Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                  Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                  The Bottom Line

                  When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                  I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                  Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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