#3 Enjoy the day to day.
This blog is the third in a series of relaxation techniques that Canine Comprehension teach to students. To be able to do this at home you need to make sure your dog can hold a close drop under the distraction of you patting it.
This exercise is designed to cultivate our students appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve. Often our students don't see the importance of planning or writing a 'to do' list. This exercise reminds us of the positive feelings we can get from being organised.
Think about how you felt when you first greeted the dog this morning. What did it feel like when you patted the dog for the first time today? Did it evoke a memory? Does it evoke a memory now? Take a moment to think about this.
Now give the dog long slow strokes down its body. Feel their fur, their breathing, their reaction to your touch. Think about how you feel right now in this moment. You pat the dog all the time, but when was the last time you really thought about it? Hold on to that feeling, focus on it for as long as your concentration will allow.
Now let's think about routine in our lives. Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted, like opening a door, for example. At the very moment you touch the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. Or, the moment you look at your phone, take a moment to appreciate the technology that enables you to communicate with others through it and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the phone.
These touch point cues don’t have to be physical ones. For example: each time you think a negative thought you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity. Or, perhaps each time you eat chocolate, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have such a sweet, tasty treat.
Now go back to patting your dog. What is it you love about this dog? Why do you appreciate it? How does it make you feel? Take some time thinking about the ways this animal makes you smile and why.
Once you have finished let your dog get up from their drop and give the a hug.
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