If you have ever spent prolonged time with an animal, worked with animals, or trained animals, you have experienced the sense of deep ease and instinctual calm frequently reported from animal-lovers. If you are a pet owner, you have even experienced that this sense of ease and calm is mutual between you and your animal, and treasure major bonding moments with your pet. If you spend down-time with your pet, you have likely even noticed the subtle yet powerful phenomena of the linking of breath. You may have even known or have your own emotional support animal (ESA), who alleviates symptoms for a variety of conditions via providing companionship and added comfort. Whatever your experience with animals, it’s likely you will agree that snuggling, petting, even watching an animal wag its tail can completely change your mood, make you feel grounded, and provide a sense of companionship.
It is no doubt that animal companions provide major emotional support, and many of us have active practices which include our furry friends, such as going for walks and runs or training. However, far fewer people have passive practices to connect them to their fur-babies, feathered friends, or scaled companions.
Meditating with your pet is a simple passive practice which can enhance bonding between you and your animal companion as well as enhancing health in a number of ways for both you and your pet!
Here are 5 benefits of meditating with your pet:
Whether you have an adorable young animal or an older, reliable rescue, trust is an important part of any relationship. Meditating together and holding space for one another builds trust which can ease young animals transition into adulthood and rebuild broken trust from abandonment by past owners. Quality time together is a major way to show love, and is a love language even animals understand fluidly.
- Stress Reduction
Animals and humans alike suffer from inflammation and stress-related disease and evidence shows that meditation is a powerful way to reduce both. Taking time each day together to promote one another’s health and wellness and hold each other accountable is not just an interaction reserved for humans. You can build this connection with your pet and enjoy mutually enhancing each other’s sense of wellbeing.
- Your Pet as the Guru
Often pets are more naturally inclined than their human counterparts to take moments of deep rest. Free from human systems and schedules, it’s not uncommon to find an animal sprawled out in the sunshine, mid-afternoon, when you might normally be rushing around, nearly too busy to notice. All relationships hold the prospect to learn from one another, and meditating with your pet is an opportunity to ask yourself what your pet has to teach you. Notice their rest times and see if you can adjust to rest with them–you might find even small moments of rest initiated by your pet might actually come just when you need it too!
- Hold One Another Accountable
Many meditators struggle to summon the intrinsic motivation to return to the practice daily without a teacher or fellow student to hold them accountable. Your pet will happily serve as your meditation companion. Settling into a routine and making a commitment to show up not only for yourself, but for your pet, can help increase meditation adherence. Additionally, animals instinctively align with the routines and rhythms of nature, and a routine helps them to stay more balanced and healthier overall as well.
- Enhance Communication
You likely communicate verbally with your pet quite frequently and may even have gestural communication such as sit, stay, or lie down. But you likely have not focused as much on more subtle forms of communication. Meditation allows you to connect with your pet on an energetic, vibrational, emotional, and even spiritual level. There is so much connective power in sitting with each other’s breath, pulse, and heartbeat.
Next time you come home from a walk or run with your beloved pet, and they lay down for that post-walk rest, follow their lead, and take the time to join them. Let them lead you into a moment of rest and trust their patterns of living. Take a moment to hold each other accountable for some self-care and stress management, and enjoy the opportunity to give and receive love on a vibrational, energetic level.