Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.

Mindfulness can help us cope with depression, boost our psychological well-being, manage physical pain, and even have better memory. When it comes to the way we think and feel, being mindful of our emotions helps us to switch to more positive mindsets and work towards being a happier and healthier person.

Mindfulness can help you:

  • Regulate and express your emotions 

  • Develop and utilize better-coping strategies 

  • Be less easily distracted on non-task activities 

  • Help you sleep better 

  • Practice self-compassion 

  • Build resilience 

Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.

Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.

Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.

Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.

Animal Assisted Mindfulness

How Animals Can Help Us with Mindfulness

  1. They grab and hold our attention.

  2. Interacting with animals naturally stimulate our senses.

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

  4. Animals realize that joy and playfulness are a big part of mindfulness. 

  5. Animals remind us to live simply and focus on the things that really matter in life: love, kindness, and peace. 

  6. Animals help us to open our hearts and share compassion. They do this effortlessly, just by their presence. They model unconditional love. 

  7. 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. 

  8. Mindfulness with the therapy animals can take many forms. It can be sitting, walking, or playing.

  9. Creating a safe and loving space with the animals allows for reciprocal sharing of loving energy to heal, learn, calm, or simply be. 

(Adapted and inspired by Pamela Robins' book Meditating with Animals)

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