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The Pros and Cons of Getting a Pet

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Pet

Getting a pet is no easy decision. Emotional perks are undeniable, yet pets require time, understanding, and training. Particularly if you have kids, it can be difficult to gauge when you are ready for a pet. We all want a cuddly, warm friend to come home too, but responsibilities and costs required to properly take care of your pets are real. Carefully considering the consequences of welcoming a new pet into your home can make all the difference in keeping your pet safe and happy (and keeping you sane). While drawbacks to having a pet may be challenging, if you properly prepare, getting a pet can be a smooth experience. The following pro and cons of having a pet will help you decide if you are ready to rise to the occasion.

Pros:

1. Increased Personal Safety

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    One definite positive to having a pet unfortunately only applies to larger, free roaming pets. Mainly in the case of dogs, pets can bring a degree of safety to your life. A barking dog scares away most home invaders, and medium to large sized dogs provide security on late night walks. However, even smaller dogs, cats, and exotics have alerted their owners to approaching dangers like fire or gas leaks. When considering whether or not to get a pet, don’t forget that your new family member could be a crucial element in keeping you safe.

    2. Receiving Love 

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      No matter what kind of pet you get, you are sure to experience increased joy and love. Pets have a way of calming us down, and playing our heartstrings in a way that nothing else can. Pets can do a lot for helping you out of slumps and turning around a bad day.

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      3. Learning Patience 

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        Particularly when it comes to younger pet owners, having a pet can teach us valuable lessons. Training your pet can be a lesson in patience, while treating your pet well can help children learn how to be gentle and understanding. 

        4. Pets Empathize with You 

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          Another positive to getting a pet is having a family member who will always empathize with you. Regardless of what pet you get, most larger pets can sense when we are feeling under the weather or have had a bad day. Having something to cuddle with that genuinely cares that you feel better is a huge boost on those less than perfect days.

          5. Improved Mental Health

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            Having a pet is also a powerful way to keep yourself mentally functional. Across the board, pets of all types have proven to improve the health of patients with mental health challenges. From treating those with post traumatic stress disorder, to helping those who struggle with depression, pets are a helpful addition to combat a range of disorders. Not only do these findings bring hope to those with health challenges, it also means that every day anxiety and stress can be greatly decreased by spending time with your pet.

            6. Saving an Animal from a Shelter

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                Finally, another major positive if you’re looking at adopting a shelter pet is the knowledge that you saved a life. Dogs, cats, and other animals in animal shelters are usually tame, and sometimes even trained. By adopting an animal thats been abandoned, you are giving a good home to a living thing, plus making room at overcrowded shelters. Unsurprisingly, pet owners who adopt animals from shelters often speak to the animals undying loyalty and joy at being adopted.

                Cons:

                1. Responsibility

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                  One drawback of getting a pet is an immediate increase in responsibility. Just like a young child, pets rely on you for absolutely everything. Not only that, if they have yet to be trained, they won’t understand your anger if they do something wrong. If you are someone with an over scheduled life, or doubt your children’s ability to step up to this responsibility, a small pet like a hamster or mouse might be a better first step.

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                  2. Allergies

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                    Another drawback to pets in the home are allergies. Especially if you don’t know what you’re allergic to, bringing a cat or a dog into your life can bring unexpected hurdles. Keep in mind that allergies grow worse each time you are exposed to an allergen, so spending limited time with animals in the past is not conclusive proof you aren’t allergic. If you’re unsure of your animal allergies, pet sitting for a friend or spending time volunteering for an animal shelter might be something you want to try first.

                    3. Possible Safety Hazards

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                      Another important consideration when getting a pet is whether or not the animal in question brings more hazards to your life. A pet might be a fine addition for families with young kids, however a large breed of dog for example, will require extra attention and training to make sure it is safe around children. Similarly, aggressive types of snakes or territorial pets may not be the best addition if you have dependents living with you. It is important to consider the needs of everyone in your house before getting a pet.

                      4. Cost

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                        Unfortunately, another drawback to having pets is a necessary evil. Just like humans, animals need to be healthy and happy. Before you get a pet, consider the average yearly veterinary cost of owning the type of animal you are looking at. Cats and dogs for example, require several different shots throughout their first year of life, as well as preventative shots and treatment throughout their lives. Additionally, outdoor pets are more prone to infections, lacerations and pest infestations that require veterinary care. Even if your animal never has a major accident, every animal will require you to pay for basic veterinary care to have a healthy and fulfilled life.

                        5. Poop

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                          There’s no getting around it – no matter what kind of animal you get, you will be required to clean up after them. Make sure you have a solid stomach when it comes to removing poop if you want a positive pet experience.

                          6. Schedule Disorder

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                              Finally, remember that bringing a pet home means you will sometimes be at the mercy of their schedule. Cats for example, are naturally nocturnal, and are likely to find their way on top of you while you try to sleep. Similarly, dogs, birds, and many exotic animals will sometimes feel the need to make as much noise as possible in the middle of the night. Be prepared to take on these challenges when you decide it’s time for a pet, and your transition into pet ownership will be much smoother.

                              Featured photo credit: raneko via flickr.com

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                              Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                              In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                              Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                              Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                              Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                              Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                              The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                              There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                              How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                              According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                              Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                              Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                              The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                              Listen carefully:

                              We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                              The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                              Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                              8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                              There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                              Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                              1. Pray Daily

                              You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                              When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                              Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                              Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                              2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                              A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                              By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                              Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                              If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                              This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                              How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                              3. Smile Often

                              Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                              Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                              Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                              The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                              4. Organize Your Working Desk

                              A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                              When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                              Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                              Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                              5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                              I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                              Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                              What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                              6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                              God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                              I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                              I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                              7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                              You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                              How do you do that? This is my formula:

                              First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                              If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                              If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                              If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                              Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                              8. Go Exercise

                              Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                              The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                              You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                              12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                              The Bottom Line

                              It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                              It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                              Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                              More Resources About Mindfulness

                              Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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