Julie Casey MSW, RSW

Nourishing Hearts

Wellness Care Farm

Animal Assisted Mindfulness 

Animals can be especially therapeutic for children, youth and adults with diverse mental health challenges including Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Both animals and mindfulness have been shown to help with sensory overload & calming issues, improving emotional regulation and self-control, increasing focus and lengths of attention span and enhance an individuals overall well-being. Nourishing Hearts has integrated animals with mindfulness practices to create a unique Animal Assisted Mindfulness Program to help ease stress and difficult emotions that can lead to a peace of mind, a sense of well-being and a sense of connection to ourselves and animals.

Why Animals with Mindfulness?

1. Animals are mindfulness masters. They teach us about embracing the present moment and living in gratitude.

2. Animals realize that joy and silliness is a big part of mindfulness. Sometimes we humans take our spiritual journey a bit too seriously!

3. Animals remind us to live simply and focus on the things that really matter in life: love, kindness and peace. Wouldn’t it be nice to let go of all our material concerns for just a little while each day?

4. Animals help us to open our hearts and share compassion. They do this effortlessly, just by their presence. They model unconditional love. The best meditation is always done with an open heart.

5. Animals have much quieter minds than we do. They don’t torture themselves with anger about yesterday or worries about tomorrow. They don’t constantly multitask. Be honest: Are you multitasking right now as you read this article? The most successful meditation happens when we bring all of our awareness to the here and now.

Meditating with the therapy animals can take many forms. It can be sitting, walking or playing. Creating a safe and loving space with the animals allows for reciprocal sharing of loving energy to heal, learn, calm or to simply be.