Do you train your own impulse control as much as your dog’s?

The last few weeks I have been really focusing on my dog Luna’s impulse control. Luna finds relaxing very difficult and usually finds comfort in “being on” non-stop. Unfortunately undesirable behaviour comes from it and the more aroused she gets, the poorer her choices are.

 

The other day whilst watching Luna doing her down stay, I realized that Luna reminded me of someone: Me. I’m very similar to my dog in that I love being busy. I love my work in the psychology clinic and running my coaching business, and don’t mind working long hours, as I love my job. In fact, I get a lot of self-esteem and validation out of being considered a hard worker.  Unfortunately however, the busier I am, the poorer my self-care choices get and the more I struggle to relax.  My mind seems to be more in a “reactive state” rather than in a “proactive” state. In a “reactive” state, I’m struggling to focus on my values, morals and ethics and find it difficult to see all my choices and often fail to choose an option that gives me the most vitality.  In short, nothing good comes out of being reactive.

 

So I realized, I put so much time, planning and effort into teaching my dog how to relax, but I haven’t put the same amount of effort into my own body and mind. I do short breathing meditations regularly, but it was time to pay more serious attention to it.  I mean, I’m asking my dog to hold a 45 min down stay on a very regular basis…. and I’m praising myself that I can do 3 mindful breaths a day?!?  It is a start but there is room for improvement. It was time to show the same dedication to my personal impulse control as I do to my dog’s. So now Luna and I are practicing impulse control together. Luna has to stay on her bed, and I have to stay on my meditation pillow. She is trying not to lunge forward, I’m trying not to  lunge at every thought my mind presents to me. She is trying not to whine and accept that this is what is happening, I’m trying not to complain how boring this is and accept doing nothing. She is trying to keep all four of her paws on the bed, I’m trying to sit still and focus on my breathing. Just so you know: Luna is kicking my backside. She can hold her down stay a lot longer than I can manage to meditate. LOL. But I will get there, maybe not as fast as Luna, but one day. ;)

 

Anyway, NAMASTE everybody and have a great day. If you try it, let us know how you go!