5 Strategies to heal stress and anxiety, naturally
It is difficult seeing your dog stressed and anxious. For some it may be an inherent part of their personalities, for others it may be due to a sad and frightening past. Some rescue dogs have varying levels of PTSD. Regardless of its origin or degree it can be truly heartbreaking seeing our four legged friends suffer from stress and anxiety.
Unfortunately we can get stressed and anxious for them which only compounds the problem.
Let's explore 5 healing strategies to help our friends and ourselves get grounded, secure and calm.
1) Sit Spot
3) Slow Blink
4) Less talk
The sit spot is a simple activity from which you will gain several benefits. It was coined by Jon Young, founder of the Wilderness Awareness School. Jon was a student of Tom Brown Jr., a world renowned tracker and primitive skills teacher. The reason this is important is that your furry friend is a natural at this stuff. Your little..or big...buddy as it may be, just needs the opportunity to practice. At it's core, "sit spot" is to return daily a spot outdoors. There, you sit calmly with your pup and take it all in. By doing so you and your friend will get grounded and bond. Your furry friend will develop more trust in your awareness abilities and this will allow him to put his guard down. For a step by step guide click here.
Massage Anyone who's ever had a quality massage can attest to its benefits. The same goes for all animals. When done with care a dog can release much stress and tension. They're are simple techniques you can use whenever you want. There are many practitioners to learn from. Here are two videos to inspire you learn more... 1 2 Slow Blink
Ever notice a cat doing what looks like a half asleep blink? It takes just a second or so longer than a usual blink. But man, do they ever seem content and confident. Everything needs to be lined up just right for a cat to let down his guard and take that extra second. In other circumstances that extra moment could mean life or death.
Think about it. A starving cat doesn't want to miss that fleeting second when a mouse might scurry by. Or a predatory coyote sneaks in. No, a cat will only spare a slow blink when he has full trust that all is well. Apply this slow blink exchange of trust with your stress laden companion. Introduce the blink when all is well and comfortable. Perhaps a moment when you are both chillin' together. Use it while you are both happily walking down the street. Use it at your sit spot. Once this slow blink exchange and understanding is established you can then start to use it as a means to reassure your little buddy, when he looks to you for cues on how to respond/react. The slow blink will be a powerful tool to communicate a message of trust and security.
Less talk, less stress.
Consider a person who talks a lot...if you are an extrovert you likely feel energized after the exchange. However, if you are an introvert you might feel a bit drained. For a nervous and stressed out pooch a lot of talking is a lot of energy to process. A calm and confident dog will have the tools to filter and buffer. Whereas a stressed out dog will quickly feel overwhelmed and the problem is then amplified.
When talking to your friend remember to talk to him with respect, avoid talking his ear off (dogs hear 4X further humans and up to 2-3X higher frequencies)
Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is the art and science of using scent to stimulate certain psychological and physical outcomes. For example we can use essential oils from various aromatic plants to help us to feel more energized, others might move us to feel more creative, plants have many gifts. Essential oils known to lend us a hand when we (or our four legged companions) feel stressed or anxious include... *Lavender *Jasmine *Cedar wood *Bergamot *Frankincense When using essential oil, remember they are POTENT, on average a dog's sense of smell is 40 times greater then humans. To learn how to use essential oils respectfully with a free online course through the School of Aromatic Studies click here. To learn how to make your own gentle lavender infused oil for your pup click here.