Hakuna Matata, as the animals say…

BagheeraWe all know the kinds of effects that stress can have on our bodies – headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, just to name a few. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that their stress can also have a dramatic impact on their pets. Animals always seem to be aware when their humans are stressed aboutsomething. Has your cat ever walked across your keyboard right when you were in the middle of typing up an important email? Has your dog ever started barking or become especially playful while you were watching a tense scene in a movie? Animals. Just. Know.

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Painting is one of the things that mellows me out.

And because animals are as sensitive and as intuitive as they are, it’s not uncommon for them to develop health issues due to living with stressed out humans. This is why it’s so important for us humans not just to treat the physical symptoms of our stress, but to address the stress itself. It might mean refusing to bring work home at the end of the day, taking up a yoga practice, going for walks in nature, or…. spending more time with our animals!

For about 4 years I was working full time in a jail (talk about stressful environments!) and this past June I finally left my job to do what I really love – working with animals and their humans to help them live the healthiest, happiest lives possible. For me, leaving my job was something I had to do not just for myself – it was also in the best interests of my animal friends.

I’ve heard more than a few people make the comment that some stress is good, or “You need a little bit of stress in your life – it’s healthy“. Well, I for one never feel as good when I’m stressed out as I do when I’m at peace. And you know what? The animals agree.

Avril

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