Learn to Pet-itate!
Pet-centered meditation (pet-itation) can help you to develop your relationship with your animals while simultaneously improving your own mindfulness. Anyone who has days where they allow their stress to come home to their family and pets can use the practice, and any pet who suffers from anxiety or behavioral issues will benefit. Over time and with consistent routine, pet-itation will improve the behavior and emotional well-being of everyone involved.
Below are some suggestions for getting started:
1.) Pick a Time
It is best to “pet-itate” when everyone is already relatively calm. A good time would be when you and your animals are winding down for the evening. It would be difficult to successfully practice when they are hyper and excited about the day ahead, but you know your pets and everyone is different.
2.) Pick a Place
Find a quiet and comfortable spot to relax with your pets. Meditation is most enjoyable when everyone is comfortable. Don’t try to control what your animals do once you begin, just let them move around and focus on your own breathing while they get comfortable.
3.) Develop a Routine
Like anything, the more you practice, the more successful you become and the more you will notice results. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to form a daily habit.
4.) Start small
If you try to pet-itate for more than a few minutes at first, you and your pets might get frustrated or bored. You’ll get there eventually, but start small and build your way there. If it isn’t working, you shouldn’t force it. Walk away and try again the next day.Think about the long-term benefits for you and your pet’s physical and emotional well-being. Doing this activity together will build an unbreakable bond between you and your pet and it will help with managing stress and anxiety for both parties. The most important thing is to have fun and appreciate the sense of calm and stability that this practice will bring into your pet's life.