“I love my dog” is something we’ve all heard dog people say. There is a reason why we refer to them as “human’s best friend.”
And while dogs an teach us many things, here are 10 life and happiness lessons we can take from pups.
Loyalty – The first descriptor often used with dogs. Dogs have evolved to co-exist and always be by our side. Ever had a bad day only to have your canine come by and show you affection? Dogs are loyal and can teach us a valuable lesson to show up for others in our life.
You Do You – Dogs are silly, fun, and are truly themselves. They don’t care what you or other people think. They will roll around in the grass and howl at the moon like there is no care in the world. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Play – More and more research shows that play is an integral part of well-being. Who knows this lesson better than dogs? Did you say ball?
Forgive – If you resisted the puppy dog eyes to give your dog human food at dinner last night, do they hold a grudge the next morning? No! Dogs can teach us to forgive and let go. For instance, do you hold hard feelings for a long time after someone hurts you? You have two options. Hold a grudge or forgive. Considering the fact that holding a hard feeling can weigh you down emotionally, and be bad for your health, it’s a lot more pleasant to just keep moving on with life.
Show Compassion – Similar to other qualities in this list, dogs seem to sense our emotions and show up for us when we need it. Empathy and compassion are fundamental human emotions and skills to form lasting relationships where we feel seen, heard, and celebrated. We might benefit from our dog’s approach to connecting with others.
Love Unconditionally – True unconditional love. It is when someone loves you no matter how you look, no matter what car you own, no matter what house you live in, whether you’re having a good or bad hair day, and no matter how rough life gets. This is exactly how your dog loves you. Do you love them back this much? Do you love the people close to you with such warmth and kindness?
Live in the Moment – Dogs live each moment to their fullest. They are mindful, present. They take each moment as it is. They listen to their needs. Whether it is to play ball, sleep, or eat, they enjoy what’s happening in the moment and make it count. We can learn a lot about living this way.
Accept Yourself – Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, have you ever seen a three-legged dog? While it may make your heart sink, have you also noticed they move along without a care in the world. They are just as happy to see another dog on the street. They accept themselves and find the good things in life. Maybe we should imitate our dogs and love our unique features.
Greet the Ones you Love – You woke up late, had a bad day at work, got stuck in traffic for a very long time coming back home… and finally, you’re home! Who’s there to greet you with a wagging tail and lots of love? Your dog, of course. They greet you with a warm welcome that definitely puts a smile on your face. Even after a rough day. Pay this greeting forward to your own family members when they come home. Just like you, these little things are what will make other people’s day too.
Enthusiasm – Did you say ball again? Dogs have an enthusiasm and zest for life we can all learn from. In fact, zest has been identified as a core value that leads to a life well-lived in fancy pants research articles. There might be something to it.
More than just lovable companions, dogs pack some serious well-being wisdom we can all benefit from.