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If your son or daughter has been hinting or just plain begging for a pet, you might want to consider it. There are benefits to them having a dog, cat, rabbit, bird or another type of pet to care for. It may seem like it will add to your own workload, but the rewards for your child will far outweigh the costs or inconvenience to you.

Pets Inspire Physical and Mental Health

One of the first benefits of getting your child a pet is the possibility of improving their physical health. More exercise can help them fight childhood obesity. Having the responsibility of walking their dog every day or running around the house with a frisky cat can increase their activity level. Active kids are healthier kids.

Higher activity levels when young can help lower the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure as your child reaches adulthood. Pets are also known to help lower stress and blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that young children who are exposed to pets early won’t have near as many allergy and asthma problems relating to pet dander or hair as kids who aren’t allowed to have pets.

Improved mental health is also an added benefit to having a pet – for kids and adults alike. It is widely known that pets help reduce stress and feelings of loneliness or anxiety. Children may turn to their pets when they can’t express their feelings to adults or other kids. Having a supportive friend who listens, doesn’t judge, and loves them unconditionally can help them cope with difficult situations or the stresses of daily life.

Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem

The boosts to a child’s confidence and self-esteem can be substantial when they have the love and care of a pet. This animal is their friend, they depend on them, and they will love them no matter what a child says or does. When they come home from school, that pet is there excitedly waiting for them. They are happy to see them.

Your child’s confidence will continue to grow due to the fact that there is someone who is always so excited to see them. Their pet just wants to be with them. Younger children will especially see improvement in their confidence as they take on more responsibility in caring for their pet.

Pets Teach Responsibility

Don’t forget that pets can also help teach kids responsibility. Having this animal depending upon them for their well-being makes your child accountable. Your child must do what it takes to keep their animal healthy and happy. Encourage them to learn everything they can about their new pet. Aid them in becoming an expert in the care and welfare of their chosen animal.

The regular chores of changing litter boxes, feeding and watering, and exercise start your child on the road to becoming a responsible adult. Even the smaller pets such as fish in a tank or a hamster in a cage have needs that must be attended to. Your child will learn when the tank or cage should be cleaned and what feeds are needed for their pet.

There are very few drawbacks to getting a pet for your child and your family. Growing up with a pet can mean less stress, less loneliness, more confidence, and better health overall for your child. Do a little research and find out what pet might be a perfect fit for your child.

What kind of pets did you have growing up? Do your kids have animals now?

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Finding Happiness: Do What You Love, and Why It’s So Important

by Leigh Summer

Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Brings

Let’s face it. Life can get crazy at times! It’s not always easy to get a grip. Sometimes it’s hard to keep energy levels high, accomplish tasks, find time for the things that matter most, and to just plain feel good about life. But life is our most prized and seemingly fleeting possession (You know what they say: You only live once). It’s vital to feel happy in order to truly enjoy our lives. In fact, there’s a fairly common philosophical school of thought, called Eaudonomionism, which suggests that happiness is the greatest of all goods. So how does one go about enjoying life and finding happiness?

It’s naïve to suggest that the key to finding happiness lies in one place. But there is a simple step that you can take to greatly improve your outlook on life: Do what you love.

Most of us feel like there’s not enough time in the day; however, the decision to make time for the things you enjoy doing is crucial. Not only is it important to make time to take part in your hobbies and interests, it’s key to make them work for you in a way that maximizes enjoyment and feelings of accomplishment.

Finding happiness can be tough in the face of life's challenges.Do What You Love At Least Part Of The Time

Unfortunately it’s common for people to choose income over passion. It’s certainly understandable, but it can lead to a drastic deficit in career satisfaction and enjoyment. Our jobs take up so much of our time and so much of our brain power. Being unhappy about our work can lead to general unhappiness in life (definitely not a milestone in the quest to finding happiness). However, a career change can be a dramatic upheaval in one’s life. Not many people wish to take such a huge leap of faith. Also while a great deal of people don’t pursue their passion, a good percentage of these people feel fairly positive about their career choice regardless of the fact that it’s not their dream job. Enter the hobby.

Let Your Hobby Be Your Passion

Hobbies are fantastic ways to channel your passion and even make a little money. If you can’t turn your passion or hobby into a full-time profession, there are still ways to make it a rewarding part of your life. First, identify the thing or things that make you the happiest. Think carefully. As we go through our day we often forget to add intention to our actions. We move by rote, and pay little attention to how we feel about what we’re doing. It can be helpful to look back at childhood and adolescent keepsakes and consider what you used to enjoy back then when you had less responsibilities. If you really can’t think of anything that brings you true enjoyment, explore a few ideas. Try something new! Take an art class! Try ballroom dancing. Open mike night at the local club where you can showcase your poetry? Try anything that catches your eye. Then evaluate. Do you get a buzz of excitement? Eager to learn more or pursue it further? If so, you’ve discovered a potential hobby.

Make Finding Happiness A Habit

Once you’ve decided on the activity or activities that bring you the most joy, begin to incorporate these findings into your routine. Find time in the evening, during break, or on weekends to research and actively pursue your hobby. Don’t turn it into a scheduled thing though! Doing that can gradually make it seem like just another chore. If one day you simply don’t feel it, don’t force yourself. There’s no reason to add pressure to something that’s meant to be purely fun.

Learning new things about your hobby can be exciting and inspiring. Connect with other people who also enjoy your passion, preferably in person rather than online. Local hobby clubs are a great way to expand your knowledge and find willing ears to talk about your passion. You might even be able to participate in group events.  Talk about finding happiness! That’s one fantastic way to keep the mojo going.

The key to finding happiness is to do what you love.Spending time doing something you love on a regular basis can make life in general seem brighter. Incorporating your hobby or passion into everyday life can make you feel liberated, as work schedules and other responsibilities can often make you feel trapped. Also, some hobbies, such as cooking, are rewarding in fairly obvious ways and can make us feel accomplished without having to pursue it beyond the home. However, you may wish to take your hobby a step further. By exploring options regarding some sort of gain, monetary or otherwise, your hobby can become a source of further pride and satisfaction. Making any amount of money doing something you love can make one feel more positive and optimistic, and make the entire experience more substantially rewarding.

Turning Your Hobby Into A Career

Start by researching your options. Many hobbies, such as art or writing, can be turned into financial gain right from home. Selling to friends and acquaintances or selling online can make the process easier and less time consuming. This can be an appealing option for people who are already busy or would rather not forfeit the entirety of their free time. The financial gain will often be relatively small, but for those who already have jobs the amount isn’t as important as the feeling of reward for your efforts.

Others may wish to pursue things beyond the home and into a more public setting. Things such as publishing works of writing, renting out art galleries, or even seeking ways to advertise the product of your hobby put your work more in the public eye and therefore maximize recognition and income. Both options are rewarding in their own way and greatly beneficial to finding happiness, but the latter is more time and effort consuming than the former. If you feel a true drive to take your passion as far as you can, don’t let yourself be discouraged. Unfulfilled ambition can be frustrating and uncomfortable and can turn your newfound source of happiness into just another dead end.

Remember that this is not your job. You’re doing this for fun! Don’t let yourself feel limited, stuck, unsatisfied, or unhappy about your hobby, as that defeats the purpose of pursuing it. Keep in mind that there’s no outside pressure in this area of your life, and that nobody is expecting anything extravagant from you. Save those feelings for work (where they may or may not apply), and don’t let them taint your experience.

Finding happiness is the key to a more satisfying life. The importance of your own personal happiness should never be ignored. Once you feel happier you’re more likely to feel more energized, positive, eager, motivated, and content in life. While this puzzle is ongoing and has no simple solution, pursuing an activity that you truly enjoy can bring countless benefits. The best part is that anyone can do it, and it doesn’t have to take away from any other part of your life if you don’t want it to. Everyone has something they love to do, so why not start doing it today?

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