What dogs can teach you about stress and life.

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This morning I had an interview, which as we all know can be a pretty stressful situation.  I went into the interview remembering that the very worst thing that can happen is that I don’t get hired and that I did not lose anything by trying.  The interview seemed to go very well and I was informed that a decision would be made within the next couple of days.  I then got home and started revisiting the interview and remembering things I should have said and questions I should have asked, but I didn’t.  So why am I worrying about it now after the fact?

This then got me to thinking about how people deal with stress in their lives.  Some people turn to addictions such as drugs, alcohol, and shopping to help them deal with stress…which all of these in the long run really are not dealing with the issue that caused the stress at all.  Others take a healthier approach and exercise, meditate, and vent to friends to help deal with their stress.  I personally have always been a huge fan of animal therapy.  Studies have shown that when a person is petting an animal they are in that moment…that moment of just them and the animal and petting…they are not thinking about the bounced check at the bank, the dry cleaning that needs to be picked up, the horrible demanding boss, all they are thinking about that furry critter that wants its tummy rubbed.  You are mindful in the moment and just taking it in.  I then decided to spend some time with my dogs and it helped.  My wheels were turning after this and I thought “maybe I have some pictures of the boys that will help add some humor  and insight to stressful situations” and here we are:

No matter how tiny you feel compared to the stress in your life, if you keep your head up, eyes open and a positive outlook things will always get better.

Always remember to make time for fun. Watch your favorite show, go bowling, hang-out with friends, whatever it is that floats your fun boat...DO IT! Making sure you laugh often while doing it will not only help your mood but the moods of those around you. Remember the word SMILES and the word STRESS both have the same amount of letter in them and the more you smile the less stress you will feel.

Take a break from technology. As a society that is ALWAYS connected with internet, cell phones, computers, text messages, television and so on, it can be hard to take a break and get away from the stress in life. Make time for yourself and literally ONLY YOURSELF. Turn off the tv, radio, cell phone, computer, and all of those other distractions and just take 5 minutes (or more if possible) for yourself....breath, stretch, doodle, paint, bake, do whatever you need to do to relax and enjoy your technology free time.

Be silly! Laughter is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to elevating your mood and taking your mind off of stress. Do something silly and make yourself laugh. Dance around your house like Mr. Bean, make up a silly song and sing it on the spot, play dress-up...whatever you choose to do remember you are just being silly and trying to make yourself laugh (you can choose to do this step alone, or with an audience--sometimes having an audience for your silliness will make the laughter more contagious).

Some problems are big. Some problems are little. Most things that you look at as a problem or a stress now will not be important 5 years in the future. Don't worry about the things you can't change.

All those little things in life that just tick you off are just that....LITTLE THINGS. Don't let yourself get all snarly because of little things that you usually have no control over...it isn't a good look. Also, don't let other peoples stress/moods/negative interactions dictate your mood and day. Somebody cut you off on the way to work? Fine. They must have been in a bigger hurry than you and they are just wasting gas and losing money by driving erratically.

Never underestimate the power of sleep. Sleeping plays a huge factor in the way that we deal with everyday stress in our lives. If you are stressed out and sleeping poorly because of it, you will then be tired the next day which will cause more stress...it is a vicious circle. Try to remember that those things you are thinking about instead of sleeping will still be there the next day and staying awake all night thinking about them will not make them go away. Seriously, how much of the stress in your life can you solve by staying awake all night worrying about....NONE!

Play hard. Many of us only have two days a week off and those two days are usually packed full of things that we have written on a To-Do List. Make sure to put something you enjoy doing on that weekend To-Do List. Schedule time for play, life doesn't always have to be work and To-Do Lists...if you don't finish everything on your To-Do List this weekend there is always other weekends.

Look stress straight in the eye and say "I can deal with you." Avoiding some stress for a while is good, but you can not avoid all stress forever, so step up to your stress and let it know that you are stronger than it will ever be.

No matter how big of road blocks life sends your way, you are always strong enough to work your way through it. It may be a road block that takes a day to overcome or a year (or more) but you will always make it through.

Don't take life too seriously. If you are serious, worried and stressed all of the time just imagine how much of life you are missing out on. Big issues now will seem like tiny specks of issues in the future. Plus many of the big things you are stressed about now you will look back on and just shake your head and laugh wondering why you let it get to you so much.

Try not to wake-up on the wrong side of the bed. Each day that you wake-up, take a big breath in and are able to greet the day is a blessing. If you can start your day with a smile and share it with others it will help brighten the world around you.

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4 responses »

    • Yes they are! Dogs are always happy to see you, miss you when your gone, love you unconditionally, always want to cuddle & play…all around bundles of love & happiness. I couldn’t imagine a life without dogs in it. Dogs are great therapy, friends, family, kids, exercise, listeners, a little bit of everything great.

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