Do you feel like you never have enough time? At the end of the night do you collapse on your couch, tired and overwhelmed because you didn’t get everything done? As you rush around in the morning do you feel guilty watching your dog by the front door holding his leash in his mouth, his eyes sadly saying, “No walk, again?”
I recently conducted a survey showing the number one thing people desire most is more time. And animal lovers especially want more quality time to spend with their animal friends. It may seem counterintuitive but walking your dog can add time to your life.
3 ways walking a dog can give you more time
1. Spend Time to Make Time
Have you heard the expression, “You have to spend money to make money?” Well just substitute the word money for time. There’s no way around it; you have to take some time to walk your dog. That’s part of the deal when you welcome a canine into your home. But what you do on your walk is what gives you the perception of more time. Take your dog’s cue and do what they do. Dogs don’t go for a walk to get to the other side; they go for the experience. And engaging their senses is part of that experience.
When is the last time you paid attention to your five senses? How often do you look at the color of the sky, feel the breeze on your face, or listen to the wind in the trees? Do you stop to smell the various aromas in the air or taste the seasons on your tongue? Yes, they actually have a taste! Awakening your senses as you walk with your dog can help you tune into the most precious moment in time, one your dog lives in 24/7 – the present. Focusing on the present moment makes time feel more expansive, connects you to your environment, your dog, and ultimately to yourself. Taking a break with your dog also allows you to refocus so when you get back home you will get a lot more done.
Did you know sitting for several hours a day can shorten your life? Walking with your best friend gives you a chance to work your muscles, stretch your ligaments, and gets oxygen moving through your lungs. In Chinese medicine, the enemy of the human body is stagnation. If it’s not moving, it will get sick and die. Here again, your dog is buying you time when you take them on a walk. And it’s great exercise for them too. Walking buys you and your dog extra time by keeping you fit and healthy.
3. Serving Serves the Server
I spent time walking rescue dogs in shelters to help them. What I didn’t realize was the impact that being of service had on my well-being. Volunteering helps reduce blood pressure, encourages social connection, and may even help us live longer. All of these life-enhancing benefits can add to our physical and emotional wellbeing and stacks the odds in our favor when it comes to having more time – on the planet.
So the next time you are overwhelmed by a lack of time instead of giving way to stress and overwhelm take your dog for a walk. He may find a bone, and you may find something even more precious than that – time.
Carlyn Montes De Oca is an acupuncturist, plant-based nutritional consultant, and the author of the upcoming book, “Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse – an animal lover’s guide to a healthy, happy, & extraordinary life.” On Thursday, March 9th, 2017, for one day only, buy Carlyn’s book on Amazon.com and receive 3 free gifts in addition to the book!
10% of Carlyn’s author proceeds will be going to rescues and shelters to help animals in need.