Practising Mindfulness Towards Animals & Spreading Awareness

"When we share our lives with animals, our spiritual paths intertwine" ~ Kathleen Prasad

By Nicole McCray

October 22 2022

If you're a pet owner, you understand how wonderful having a pet can help bring us out of all the worries and anxiety we deal with every day.

They love us unconditionally and live in the present moment. 

Being around animals helps promote mindfulness.

The goal of practising to be more mindful is an act of being more aware of your mental and emotional health.

It aims to help you take more time to process things, recognize and be more flexible to changes, and behave with compassion.

As a result, we should work to practice being more mindful toward animals.

You may be wondering, how do I do that?

The guide below will give you some actionable tips to help you, like our beloved pets and animals, to be more mindful and spread awareness to others. 

Table of Contents: Practising Mindfulness Towards Animals & Spreading Awareness

  1. Being Mindful With Our Pets
  2. Being Mindful and Aware with Animals
  3. Meditation and Yoga
  4. Mindfulness Teachers

Being Mindful With Our Pets

Let's face it - our lives are busy, usually resulting in filled calendars due to work, family, and social events.

As a result, we always leave our own self-care on the back burner. But, we need to take the time and allow some mindful practice by paying close attention to our pets.

The next time you're alone or have a moment with one of your pets, take time to notice everything.

Pet your dog or cat, and consider how their fur feels in your hands. Listen to their breathing or their heartbeat. 

One of the best ways to cultivate more mindfulness is to practice gratitude.

For example, when we think about how grateful we're for our pets or other animals, it helps to cope with times in our life when we feel pain or sadness. 

Being Mindful and Aware with Animals

Raising awareness to practice being more mindful can be challenging. Today's world is full of busy schedules, and being more aware involves taking the time to relax and become conscious of what is happening. 

Animals don't care about plans or schedules, or social lives.

They often interrupt those streams of planning or when our minds are racing, bringing us back to reality. They serve as the best reminder that we need to take the time to be more aware of what's happening in the present.

There are many ways that we can include animals to help us become more aware and mindful.

For example, some service dogs for the elderly provide emotional support - allowing them to cope and reverse where their attention goes when they overthink, as well as reducing stress and anxiety over things we cannot control.

Animals provide great reminders that we aren't in control of how things turn out.

To cope more effectively with life, we need to let go of how we want things to go and learn how to enjoy and be grateful for how things already are in our lives. 

Practising mindfulness involves adapting to being more humble. Here are some techniques or tactics you can incorporate into your routine to help you be more mindful with the use of animals.

Meditation and Yoga

Meditation or exercise are great ways to relieve stress and bring you into the present moment to help you become more mindful.

Practising meditation or yoga can also be done with animals, which helps enhance the outcome you hope to achieve.

Meditation practice doesn't put you in a higher place or elevated state, but its goal is supposed just to make you more aware and mindful of your surroundings.

But unfortunately, many people have a mistaken idea of what meditation is all about.

The meditation you perform isn't just sitting in with your eyes closed and focusing on deep breathing. Meditation with animals involves stroking your pet's fur and listening to its heartbeat so your focus is on the animal, not yourself.

Yoga is an excellent practice for mindfulness, which is only enhanced with animals. It refines balance and coordination, helps develop focus and concentration, and strengthens your mind-body connection. 

You may have heard of goat yoga, but you can use cats, dogs, and other animals if you have pets or want to do yoga with other animals.

The animals act as a way to enhance your mental health, as well as benefit your physical abilities.

For example, if you have a pet that likes being around you when you get to floor level, you can up the benefits with your yoga exercises by having your pet around to keep you more aware.

Mindfulness Teachers

Animals and pets are some of the best mindfulness teachers, but you must take the time to notice them. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program created by John Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

The idea behind the program was designed to help human patients who weren't responding to traditional medical treatments.

The MBSR has grown to become widely used among many health professionals today.

The mindfulness practice is purposeful and reflective, a way to learn to deal with pain, illness, stress, and other challenges. It's a way to work through your problems by addressing them head-on. 

You may have witnessed hospitals bringing in service or emotional-support pets since they provide mindful attention. The mindful practice has demonstrated cognitive benefits such as elevating positive thoughts and physical benefits like lowering blood pressure.

Consider looking to animals and pets as a way to practice more mindfulness in your life.

Think about the lessons you learn from them and how you can apply their way of living to your own way of thinking about life and improve it.

Accept more peace and reduce stress by carving out just a little bit of time every day to be more mindful.