Animals are wonderful for humans for more than just companionship or hilariously cute videos. The way animals interact with each other and behave can teach us important lessons we can’t get from watching other humans. Before you head to the local wildlife park or flip through a nature magazine, here are four things you can learn from our furry, feathery or scaly friends.
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1. Live In The Now
Planning the future is a great thing to do, but sometimes we are so caught up on what’s happening tomorrow that we forget to observe and enjoy today. Animals don’t have this problem, as they generally interact with their surroundings and only worry about the basic things, such as food, water and finding a mate. Instead of planning the future, animals truly live in the moment.
Make an effort to live in the present instead of focusing so much of your time on the future. For example, if you find yourself worrying about work tomorrow at a friend’s birthday party, it’s time to refocus your attention on the celebration at hand and banish work from your mind. Remind yourself that time is precious, so there’s none of it available to waste.
2. Love Without Conditions
Animals, particularly dogs, have the ability to love unconditionally. Even if you get mad at your dog and yell, it will still be just as excited to see you when you come home from work the next day.
Practice loving without limits. While this doesn’t mean staying in an unhealthy relationship or ignoring hurtful behaviors, it does mean learning to let the little things go when it comes to family members, friends and your partner. Think about your reaction to something that bothers you for a moment before you say or do anything. If you find yourself already less annoyed or angry when a few minutes tick by, you’ll need to ask yourself if it’s worth addressing.
The loyalty of a dog is another animal trait from which humans can certainly learn. Being loyal isn’t always the easiest road to take, but if you truly care for someone, you need to treat him or her as you would want to be treated, and that usually includes a sense of loyalty.
3. Be A True Team
Whether it’s the ants working together to create a home, the bees teaming to protect their queen or beavers making a dam, the image of animals and teamwork go hand in hand. Often, good teamwork is needed for their very survival, so they have no time to mess around. Animals working together help each other to accomplish the common goal, no matter what that may be.
Approach teamwork with the same attitude animals have: Everyone must work together and help each other to get the job done. By being more positive and willing to share the load with others, you’ll be more successful in your work and personal relationships.
4. Take A Break
We’re known for running around, multitasking and not being able to sit and relax for a few minutes. But as anyone who has ever had a cat can tell you, animals have no problem stopping for a break or taking a nap in the sunlight when needed.
Learn to let yourself have a break. It may be as simple as closing your eyes for just a few seconds, but going nonstop all the time is bad for your health in terms of stress. Leave yourself reminders, such as notes, or even an alarm set on your phone, so you take a little time for yourself when you need to.