Walking your dog or strolling with your leashed cat is more than just a physical activity—it's a shared experience that has the potential to deepen your bond. This fall, why not take your walks to a higher level by incorporating mindfulness into them?
Figo explores how to engage in mindfulness during your autumn walks, the nuances to pay attention to, and the range of benefits for you and your pet.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment, intentionally and non-judgmentally. The aim is to become acutely aware of our experiences and to find peace and clarity through this awareness. But did you know that mindfulness can also enhance your relationship with your pet?
Mindfulness walks: the basics
Engaging your senses
The first step in a mindful walk is to engage all of your senses. Feel the autumn breeze on your skin, listen to the crunch of leaves underfoot, and take in the earthy scents of the season. Encourage your pet to do the same; let them sniff a little longer at that intriguing bush or listen to the rustle of the wind.
Don't forget to breathe! Focus on your breathing pattern and try to sync it with the natural rhythm of the walk. This not only calms the mind but also helps in setting a comfortable pace for you and your pet.
What to notice during the walk
Your pet's behavior
Pay attention to your pet's body language. Are they excited, curious, or relaxed? Noticing these small changes can provide you insights into what makes them tick.
Observe the colors of the leaves, the patterns of the clouds, or even the squirrels playing in the trees. Nature is full of small wonders that often go unnoticed.
Be aware of changes in the environment, such as temperature drops or the onset of gentle rain. These shifts offer an opportunity for you and your pet to adapt and relish new experiences.
Benefits for you and your pet
When you share mindful moments, you're not just walking; you're communicating and connecting on a deeper level.
Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in humans, and the same can be true for pets. A calmer you leads to a calmer pet.
Walking is excellent exercise, and when combined with mindfulness, it becomes a holistic activity that benefits both mental and physical health.
Mindfulness walks offer a unique opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your pet while reaping numerous benefits. So this fall, as the leaves change and the air turns crisp, take the time to truly experience the walks you share with your pet. It's a step toward a happier, healthier life for both of you.
Lizz Caputo is the Manager of Content Strategy at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.