This World Kindness Day, your dog can be a fantastic inspiration for not only being kind to others but also to yourself.
Danielle from @izzyfreddie gives her top tips for learning kindness from your dog...
"You know, a dog can snap you out of any kind of bad mood that you’re in faster than you can think of.” – Jill Abramson
Everyone with a dog will understand their compassion. They adore you. They cannot function without your help. We feed them, exercise them, fuss them and give them a place to sleep. In return, they provide us with total unconditional adoration.
Spread kindness to strangers
To learn to be kind can be difficult especially when interacting with other people. We are always worried about their response, always pre-empting what may be said next. We should take a deep breath and think, what would my dog do? Usually, a dog will wag their tail when presented with a stranger, this is a kind way of greeting. I’m not saying we should wag our tails but maybe a polite hello would suffice.
Izzy and Freddie enjoy their long walks and we always see other dog walkers and people enjoying their day. I am always polite, normally a smile and hello. I greeted one lady and she stopped, looked at me and proceeded to say ‘That is the nicest thing someone has said to me today, everyone else has ignored me’. In turn, this made me feel a hundred times better for making someone else’s day.
Being with the dogs brings my confidence out. I often receive lovely comments like, ‘Oh he's handsome!’ or ‘Wow, she's fast!’. This is a really nice thing to hear and actually passing a random compliment on to a stranger might be the way forward. It may make a person's day, and improve their mood to no end. Even a short interaction can make someone's life that little bit more enjoyable.
Never underestimate a kind gesture
If I’m in a grumpy mood, slightly upset or a little bit down, Freddie will approach me and pop his head on my lap, or into my hand. This is a lovely gesture from him, he’s just letting me know he’s there (more likely he wants his dinner!!). He is a great comfort and has comforted other people when they have been in an awful situation.
The power of laughter
Canines are comical creatures and in our house, it’s a laugh a minute. From a cheeky lurcher who steals food to a clumsy retriever who manages to get his head stuck in his own bed and walks into things!
After spreading kindness to everyone else, don't forget to save a little for yourself
It’s a proven fact that stroking a dog can reduce stress and help you to relax and Freddie has certainly proven that fact for me.
Have you ever noticed in a stressful situation or after a full on day, your dog will happily take himself away to his bed or safe space? They don't feel guilty for giving themselves the alone time they need
Being outside in the fresh air, howling wind, snow, ice and rain can raise your mindset. It has been proven that a short outdoor activity, whether it's once a day or more to enjoy nature can escalate endorphins for everyone. So imagine being a dog who's already happy, and then enjoying outside on top of that!
And of course, spread some kindness to your dog
Dogs can teach us vast amounts of kindness, they love us unconditionally and will help us feel better no matter what mood we are in. Cherish their company, their kindness and make sure to be kind to other in these strange times.
Top tips for spreading kindness from your dog:
- A smile and a hello in place of a wag of the tail
- Always be kind, you never know what someone else is going through or how you can impact upon their day
- Take a rest when it is needed & get the right amount of sleep each night
- Make conscious decisions about what you're eating & drink plenty of water