Nurturing Joy & Well-Being in Your Animals
It only makes sense that many of the things we do to improve our health and the quality of our personal lives also enhance the physical and emotional well-being of animal companions. A life and home that are a sanctuary of peace and stillness naturally promote health and happiness in our animal friends, too. The following mindful tips will help bring balance to beloved animals’ lives, as well as our own.
EAT WELL and take vitamins, and feed animals the wholesome foods that keep them as clean inside as they are clean and well groomed on the outside. A well-tended body feels better and can more easily handle the stresses of everyday life. Consider the body a temple of the soul.
EXERCISE DAILY and spend time outdoors to enjoy nature’s beauty; this is a human antidote to stress, anxiety and depression and it works for animals, as well. Playing and frolicking in the yard with animal companions can enliven their spirits and bodies and bring everyone joy. Sing and dance to release energy and to create peace and joy. Animals love good music and many of them love to dance.
KEEP COMPANY. Be conscious of how much time pets spend alone. Too many solitary hours can be stressful, resulting in inappropriate behavior, depression, anxiety and illness. If family members must be away from home all day, consider an animal sitter or dog walker, or ask a neighbor to check on the animals.
PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS and take lessons in unconditional giving from your four-legged and winged friends. Giving an unexpected gift to a stranger, helping a neighbor or feeding a feral cat puts our focus on the well-being of others, making life more meaningful. Self-absorption leads to emotional problems and illness, which may reflect in the behavior and health of a companion animal. Make the workplace, too, as peaceful and stress-free as possible. Because stress affects animals, exercise or perform an act of kindness for another before arriving home. A framed Kodak moment with our animal at work will help us stay connected and bring peace and comfort.
PRAY AND MEDITATE. To pray is to ask; to meditate is to listen. Pray for assistance with life challenges. Listen for the still small voice within, as well as the voice of any beloved animal companion. Several times a day, we should check in on our emotional state, which affects the well-being of an animal companion. If we are overstressed, worried, preoccupied, depressed or anxious, pause to implement one of the suggestions noted here.
PERFORM AN ANIMAL “BODY SCAN” twice a week. Sit peacefully, facing Fluffy or Fido, whether resting or standing. Get centered and take a deep breath, exhale, and then resume normal breathing. Place one hand a few inches above the animal’s body and slowly move it from the tip of the animal’s nose, over the head, down each front leg, up to the shoulders again and then over one side all the way to the tip of the tail and down the back leg. Check the pads of the feet by pressing gently to spread the toes, noticing any tender areas. Look in the eyes and ears. Repeat the identical procedure on the opposite side. Feel for any “cold” or “hot” spots in the animal’s energy field or for any other sensation that feels off.
Next, follow the same process while touching the animal. Feel for any lumps, bumps or sore places. Pay particular attention to the joints in older animals. Check the abdomen with gentle pressure. Note tender areas. Look in your animal’s mouth the same way, paying attention to gum color, teeth tarter and any areas that might look inflamed.
Don’t worry over the detection of something abnormal. Continue with twice weekly body scans over a period of weeks, and if a particular area of the animal’s body remains sore or if a lump is detected, it’s time to make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Our animal companions sense the love and caring we offer through these ministrations and respond by becoming more relaxed and at ease. We, in turn, are nurtured through their trust.
Sharon Callahan, animal communicator and resident of Mount Shasta, CA, is the creator, formulator and manufacturer of AnaFlora Flower Essences for Animals.