It’s safe to say that dogs are one of the happiest creatures in existence. These little balls of fur are always looking for the next adventure and expressing their love as often as they possibly can. When we think of role models we totally think of people…but why not dogs? I’m not saying we should start sniffing stranger’s butts and chasing squirrels, but I am saying that we have a lot to learn from our furry companions. Here are five life lessons from dogs, they have a lot to teach their humans.
Be grateful for the little things.
Why does every great thing need to be something big and grand? Sometimes something as small as painting your nails or finishing your paper deserve a mental high five. Dogs are happy about the small things, whether their owner has just entered the room or they’ve just been served breakfast. While I’m not suggesting you go crazy about having a granola bar for breakfast, don’t forget to be grateful for little things that you often take for granted.
Your dog greets you at the door with immense joy no matter what—-does this not always make you extremely full of happiness? If there’s one thing I know, it’s that it’s so easy to forget to show someone just how much you love them.
If there’s one major lesson to take from the dogs, it’s that we ought to show those that we love that we love them and appreciate them more often. This is as easy as sending a “Just a reminder that even though we argue sometimes I’m really glad I have you” text to your sister, calling home just to talk or buying your friend her favorite coffee. Acts of appreciation and love can be so small and so simple and they can mean so much.
Literally, go for a walk. If you’ve got a pup of your own, take them with you. They’ll appreciate going along for the ride. Dogs are often full of energy and love going for walks; we should definitely take a page out of their book. Science, magazines and any person in the world could tell you how exercise is great for your health and your happiness. No extreme body building workout or 5Ks are necessary here—do like the dogs and just go for a brisk walk as often as you can. It’s a great way to clear your mind and add some cardio to your day.
Be proud of small accomplishments.
Puppies get so excited over small achievements—things as simple as fetching a ball. We ought to be excited over our small achievements, too. You made yourself a meal that wasn’t ramen? Amazing. You didn’t spend all day in your pajamas? Gold star. You finished one season of Grey’s Anatomy in a day? That’s an accomplishment if I’ve ever seen one. You have to remember to count the small victories—life isn’t always filled with huge accomplishments and celebrations—and it doesn’t need to be.
If you find yourself in a slump, feeling surrounded by failures and mundane achievements, grab a piece of paper and make a list of everything you’ve done that day. Even though you’re not achieving world peace and curing the common cold, you’re always doing more than you think.
Just enjoy the ride.
Dogs are often happiest sitting shotgun (or backseat) of a car with the windows rolled down and wind rushing through their fur. They have no idea where you’re going but they’re just happy to be there and glad to enjoy the ride. Remember to de-stress and just enjoy the ride sometimes—you don’t always need a final destination and a ton of plans. It’s important in life to focus on the journey and not only the final destination.
If we’re constantly striving for the next thing and focusing on goals and not the path to achieving them, what kind of life are we living? Live for the moment and remember to go with the flow and just enjoy the ride. It doesn’t always matter where you’re going, as long as you’re going somewhere. Even though it’s a lesson taken from the dogs, it’s not a bad outlook to have on your life.