Sometimes the world seems like it’s a very dark place. We can get so caught up in the negativity around us, it can be difficult to see all the positive things. Starting gratitude practice daily can help lighten the load and give you a new appreciation for the good things in your life.
A gratitude practice can help improve your relationships, improve your mental well-being, and help you sleep better. Being grateful for the things around you and practicing kindness to yourself and others helps bring more positivity into the world.
When you think about all the positive things in your life, your dog surely ranks in the top spot. They are there no matter what we are going through. They are always willing to lick out tears away. On a bad day sometimes all it takes is to look at your dog and catch them doing something silly to make you smile.
When practicing gratitude why not use this time to incorporate one of the most positive influences in your life? This post is all about helping you discover how you can practice gratitude with your dog. You will be amazed at how it helps your overall wellness and your dog’s.
Include Your Dog in Your Journaling
As part of your gratitude practice, sit down and think about how your dog makes your life better. Write down all of the ways your dog brings joy to your life. Writing about all the reasons you are grateful for your dog will give you a new appreciation for them.
Write down the little moments with your dog that make you smile. Writing them down will help you remember the happiness those moments bring you. They will also give you something positive to look back at if you are feeling down and reading your journal to recapture a positive feeling.
Take Your Dog on A Walk
Taking your dog on a walk is good for your mind and body. This is a way to not just practice gratitude with your dog but to show your gratitude to your dog. As you walk, focus on your dog. Think about how you feel in the moment and watch as your dog sniffs and enjoys just being outside and being herself.
Keeping your dog active keeps your dog mentally stimulated and physically healthy. Allow your dog time to sniff and tap into her natural instincts, and allow her to truly “be a dog.” Giving your dog the chance to use their noses and experience the world the way they were meant to improves their mental well-being.
Walking with your dog will help you strengthen the bond you have as you learn more about her. You’ll really learn more about how she experiences the world and will likely pick up on more of her cues. The bond you build just through understanding your dog better is priceless.
Practice Meditation With Your Dog
This is a very simple and very effective way to include your dog in your gratitude practice. Meditation can help relieve stress, and your dog will certainly benefit from this quiet time with you. Meditating with your dog will help strengthen the human-animal bond and build trust and understanding. Pick a quiet moment and sit next to your dog. First thing in the morning or right before bed are good times to practice meditation.
Gently place one hand on her, and sync your breathing to hers.
Take a few moments to just focus on this connection. Anchor yourself in the moment, and just focus on the feeling of your dog’s fur under your hand. Gently breathe in and out.
Focus on this quiet time, and think about the bond you share with your dog. Relax and think about the moments you are grateful for.
Slowly allow your focus to return to the outside world.
Just 5 minutes of meditation a day can have a positive effect on your mental well-being. It allows the body to reduce stress and better heal itself. As the tension leaves your body and you relax, your dog will also begin to relax and feel a reduction in stress.
Practice Kindness Out Of Gratitude For Your Dog
As you think of all the ways your dog has made your life better, think about how you have also made your dog’s life better. Use these thoughts to inspire you to practice kindness, not just to other people, but to other dogs.
Out of gratitude for the bond you have with your dog, consider donating to a local shelter or rescue. You can donate money, or call the shelter and find out if they need food, toys, or blankets. You can also donate your time and act as a volunteer at the shelter or at adoption events.
Spend Time With Your Dog
Practice gratitude for your dog by intentionally spending time with her. Take her for a drive, play catch, or just give her a belly rub. Focus on the moment and all the ways your dog brightens your day. Watch your dog as she plays, and enjoy the way she runs. Appreciate the dog cuddles and the way your dog tries to get your attention.
Your dog is constantly showing her gratitude for you. When practicing gratitude with your dog, look to her for inspiration. The zest your dog has for life and the way they revel in the moment can teach you a lot about gratitude.
There are hundreds of ways you can practice gratitude with your dog. You don’t have to use all of the methods listed here. Feel free to get creative. This is your time, after all.
Practicing gratitude is something very close to my heart. This was something I tried a while back, and it truly helped me out of a dark place. I sat down one morning and just wrote down all the ways intentionally incorporating my girls into small daily gratitude practices shifted my own wellness and theirs.