“Control worry before it takes control of you.” Even before the COVID-19 crisis, worry and stress were America’s number one health problem. Sleepless nights, pounding blood pressure, quick temper, low focus, health problems... worry offers no benefits and fixes nothing - but we still do it everyday. There are ways to stop the spiral and paralyzing effects of worry and my dog knows the steps.
The average person will waste 5 years of their life by worrying. 70% of people admit to worrying and stressing everyday and 60% of aliments are due to worry and stress. While we will never stop worrying - life will continue to hurl challenges our way, there are ways to stop worry and stress from spiraling out of control. Left to fester, worrying leaves us in a non-productive, unfocused, near hopeless state while giving us high blood pressure, ulcers and even worse medical problems. Major coping, self-destructive, numbing mechanisms could be avoided if we can stop our hypnotic worrying from taking control. After losing 30 pounds due to worry and stress from a near financial disaster, I knew that my lifetime of worrying had to change.
Looking for answers, I became angry at my dog for being happy all the time, that slobbery fur factory was always happy to see me and wanted to play at all the wrong times - so I thought. I started to observe her more closely, to see exactly how and why this silly lick monster didn't worry like I was. I was intent on learning how to better navigate life from a creature that eats off the floor and drinks out of the toilet. I discovered that dogs can actually be a model for learning to live a less stressful life. They know when and how to rest, play, eat passionately and blow off problems. We can learn a lot from dogs about being loyal, patient, compassionate, non judgmental, humble, being comfortable in our own fur, not-take-life-so-seriously and so much more.
My presentation teaches skills necessary to make worry/stress manageable thus increasing productivity and focus. It involves three simple steps that I learned from my dog: (1) dogs live for the moment, never regretting bad decisions or fretting about tomorrow's problems. (2) Dogs know when to stick their heads out of the car window and search for beauty and blessings. When we are worried, we only focus on the issue and forget how much beauty, wonder and blessings there are within inches of us. (3) Dogs live to serve others and do it with joy. When we reach out to someone hurting, it takes the spotlight off our own issues and we worry less about them.
I'm passionate about helping others not go where I went... worried to the point where I couldn't function properly. Most everyone loves dogs and can relate to that fact that most don't worry much. In learning simple steps to worry and stress less, we will accomplish more.