Thanks to Meditation Society of America member Ito in Japan for
forwarding this to us:
Here are "10 ways cats can help their owners swat away stress inducers.
Assess your situation and apply what your cat mentor is showing you."
1. Cats are natural yoga teachers. Cats know and show us the value of
stretching. Our tight and achy muscles welcome a good, soft stretch
anytime, but especially in the morning before we get up. Muscles are
warm from bed, and it's a great way to start the day. Try it.
2. Cats know the therapeutic value of touch. So do dogs and other
animals. They know when they need a cuddle, and usually when you need
one as well. You may find, that although the times when they ask for
attention may be an interruption for you, the relaxation and touch
will be a therapeutic time-out.
3. Cats know the value of solitude. Few of us in this world spend any
time alone. The phone is ringing, or we are on the computer. Others
arein need of our presence. Try finding 5 or 10 minutes a day to spend
by yourself without interruption. We need quiet and solitude to
recharge our batteries. Those of us who run on low energy as it is
probably need it even more.
4. Cats know the importance of power napping. Any of us who have pets
know that they sleep a good part of the day. If you are tired or
sleepy, it makes sense to nap. But we are so conditioned by society
that it is "lazy" to sleep during the day, we do ourselves the
disservice of struggling to stay awake even when we are exhausted.
Could we learn from our pets?
5. Cats know the value of eating right. Cats are picky eaters. They
eat small amounts when they are hungry. They love fish, which is high
in good fatty acids. There are many studies that show that humans
would be wise to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.
Yet most of us continue to follow that routine, even when it is not
6. Cats walk away from irritating scenes. When faced with the option
of sticking around or leaving screaming clients, noisy neighbors or
loud-talking visitors, cats usually retreat to quieter places in the
home. They aren't being rude; they recognize they don't need to
subject themselves to an unpleasant situation.
Cats will walk away from irritation situations rather than be
confrontational, which requires a lot more energy, and a lot more
stress. They go to places where there is better chemistry. We can't
always leave unpleasant situations, but when we get the opportunities,
we should take a lesson from our cats and walk away. It is far
healthier on our bodies."
7. Cats live in the present. How many of us, me included, find
ourselves stressing about what we should do in the future, or what we
should have done in the past. We spend time worrying about what will
happen if a particular event occurs. All of our stress and worrying
just decreases the amount of energy we have to do what we need and
want to do in the present.
8. Cats are candid. They will ask for what they need and want. We
worry about whether we should expose our need and ask for help - or if
that request will inconvenience another person. We don't want to be a
burden. But if it is something we truly need, it certainly takes less
energy to ask than to hint and hope the request will be understood. In
addition, we save ourselves the aggravation of not having the need met.
9. Cats practice good hygiene. For some of us, simply taking a shower
is all of our energy for the day. But we feel better, and more relaxed
when the shower is over. Taking care of one's self is important. I
know I certainly feel better about the day when my face is washed and
my hair combed. If I can get through that, I can tackle the rest of
the day. After I rest, of course!
10. Cats are not materialistic. Many of us have learned this by buying
toys for our pets, which sit and do nothing, while the pet chases
shadows, or plays with piece of lint on the carpet. Trying to `keep up
with the neighbors' is stressful, both emotionally and financially.
Especially for those of us on limited incomes, learning to use our
money wisely, for our comfort, is more important than the image we
present to others. Cats simply don't care. Why should we?