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Let Your Pet Help You Manage Stress

Have you ever found yourself unable to move off your couch because your gorgeous, much-loved pet has curled up next to you or has settled themselves so firmly on your lap that you're loathe to disturb them? Are there times when your pet is languishing across your keyboard and you're praying that they don't press 'send' on a half-finished email, yet you're loving the fact that they're supervising your work!

- Being close to your pet helps keep you calmer, even if you do have a wry smile on your face due to their antics. When you've 'no choice' you can gradually allow yourself to relax in their company. It's a wonderful feeling to be so trusted by a creature that feels secure and is totally at ease with you. And after a busy day filled with a miscellany of sometimes stressful experiences dedicating attention to your pet can be a great way to manage stress.

- Pets have no agenda. When you walk through the door you may be greeted by exuberant paws, be expected to take them for a walk, replenish their food bowl and be completely there for them. Those moments of enforced pet-time can be a delicious opportunity to recharge your batteries and overcome the urgent mental prompts about what you should/ought/must be doing next. What's more precious than spending time going for a walk or settling down with a gently dozing creature who's totally at peace and curled up next to you?

- Sometimes we have to park our to do list for now and give in to those moments, accepting them as a good reason to stop running from one job to the next. Ignoring your pet is futile, so attending to them might as well become your main priority.

- Why not turn those moments into something even more special by allowing yourself to really celebrate the connection you have with your beautiful companion. When they are relaxing peacefully on your lap you may not even be able to reach your phone or the TV remote control. There's no real option but to simply sit it out.

- So, turn your attention away from external distractions. Stroke their coat and enjoy its feel and texture. Is it soft and silky or has it a more coarse feel to it? Tune in to their smell, their breathing, the little sounds they perhaps make. Smile at any tremors or movements - are they chasing or playing in their dreams?

- As your internal chatter calms and settles, become more mindful and tuned in to your own breathing, each breath becoming a calmer, more relaxed experience. Notice your body; is there any tension in your shoulders, chest, stomach, back? Allow it to subside.

You know that you're not going to be moving for a while so commit to enjoying those few meaningful moments and value the special gift that your beautiful pet is giving you. Appreciate some time out as quality time for yourself, a very precious present and way to manage stress.

About Author -

Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support. She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon. To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit 


Cheshire based author, a regular expert guest on BBC radio, columnist, relationship counsellor and hypnotherapist with over 20 years’ experience.

Categories

Pet Stress Mental Health

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