Our pets mirror ourselves. We tend to be the same percentage overweight, as well as share similar illnesses with them. If we are stressed, our pets can become anxious as well. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. Making positive changes in our lives favorably impacts our pets. One of the easiest ways to implement a beneficial change is by incorporating meditation into our lives.
What is meditation?
Meditation uses focused breathing to create a calm state. Meditation allows you to quiet your mind.
Why is meditation important?
Meditation decreases the respiratory rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and pain. It lowers oxygen consumption, improves concentration and promotes clarity. An article by Colin Allen in April 2003’s Psychology Today stated “ The brain waves of meditators show why they are healthier. Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift brain activity to different areas of the cortex. Brain waves in the stress prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. They were calmer and happier.” In addition, researchers at the University of Oregon found that meditators increase the protective tissue around the axis on the brain. There are numerous studies that show when you meditate for 12 minutes at a time; you reap ALL the medical benefits.
How do you meditate?
Breathe in, breathe out. This is the simplest. You can do this anywhere including while waiting on line at the bank. Take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and breathe out.
Guided meditations. There are hundreds of CD’s and DVD’s that guide you through a meditation. Also a good choice for the beginner and not so beginner. My favorite is Achieving Inner Peace by Dr. Brian Weiss.
Focus point. Fixate on an object such as a candle or crystal. Let everything else around you fade away.
Daydreaming. I love daydreaming. Sit outside, sit inside, it doesn’t matter. Concentrate on something, concentrate on nothing. When you daydream, everything around you fades away and you are left with just your dreams.
There’s an app for that! There are guided meditation apps available for your smart phone. Some are free while others have a nominal charge.
Yoga. Yoga incorporates focused breathing.
How often should you meditate?
You should meditate as often as you can. It takes practice to learn to quiet your thoughts. Initially, your mind will wander. Did I turn on the washing machine? What am I having for dinner? Did I lock the car door? And so on. The more you meditate, the easier it becomes.
How does meditation benefit pets?
Meditation benefits pets by overall lowering household stress levels. Lower environmental stress levels may reduce anxiety in pets, as well as possibly minimize inappropriate behaviors.
Pets are a reflection of their environment. When you meditate, you are less stressed and peaceful. As a result, your entire household, including your pets is calmer and happier. Help your pets, help yourself. Look into meditation.