Affirmations with Animals

Recently I began to listen to Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”® CD again while driving to work in the morning. I began to wonder – could we possibly use the concept of affirmations with our animal companions, and if so, how and why?According to Louise and also according to Abraham (a teacher channeled by Esther Hicks), affirmations (thoughts) create our reality. If we consciously choose to think positive thoughts, then we create for ourselves positive results in the future. A lot of the time, however, we think non-positive thoughts without even realizing it. This then creates non-positive results for us. Basically, we can choose to turn that around by consciously thinking a more positive thought when we catch ourselves thinking a negative one.We cannot “make” our animals think positive thoughts. What we can do, I believe, is INTRODUCE positive affirmations into their daily lives as a way of helping them create positive behaviors and attitudes in the future. We already do this with our animal friends, don’t we? Let me give you an example. We are working with our dog Obi, who loves to bark. Unfortunately, he gets into compulsive barking behavior very easily, and it’s hard for him to stop. This is not very pleasant for the humans that live with him, although it doesn’t seem to bother the horse or cat he’s barking at. Recently we realized that we were focusing on the behavior that we did not want (the compulsive barking). So as part of helping Obi understand what behavior we do want – to stop barking when he is asked to do so – we began to send him positive affirmations about that behavior. We show him pictures of stopping barking when we ask him to. We verbally and telepathically praise him when he stops barking. We are tryin to help Obi create a future in which he can stop himself from barking. We also worked with a professional trainer to help us train him to do this. Training is very important in dealing with this type of issue in dogs because the barking was being initiated by Obi’s prey drive (instinctual behavior). Personally, I think using affirmations is setting Obi up for success.Another situation where affirmations may be helpful for our animal companions is when we bring them into our lives for the first time. We can use positive affirmations by sending them pictures of them doing the behaviors we want them to do in order to live with us. For example, you can show a new cat a picture in your head of them using the litterbox or scratching on a scratching post you’ve provided for them. You can give them a verbal affirmation when they do what you have shown them – used the litterbox or the scratching post. You show them doing the positive behavior in their heads, then you verbally tell them they are wonderful house cats when you see them do that behavior. It’s more than “good girl/boy” – it’s saying “you are a very good house cat to use your litterbox!”.We are using something very similar with our new horse Cheyenne. She tends to shy away from some new things or situations. For example, she had her feet trimmed by our farrier for the first time this week. We showed her mental pictures of the farrier and what he does. We showed her pictures in our heads of her standing still and enjoying having her feet trimmed. When she did just that, we told her that we were very proud of her for doing her job and keeping us and the farrier safe. When introducing her to a new object, we first explain to her that part of her job is to keep her humans safe. Then, we show her a “movie” in her head of the object, how we will introduce it to her, and how she will react calmly to the object. For Cheyenne, this seems to help her do her job very well.We suggest you try this at home with one of your animal friends. Decide what simple positive behavior you would like for them in the future, get their attention, and picture them doing that behavior in your head. Try this once a day for several days in a row. If you observe them doing that behavior, immediately provide a positive affirmation that says “you ARE a good house cat/dog because you did ___!”. Please choose something simple to start with, and remember that often we may need the help of a positive reinforcement professional trainer to help the process along. Have fun!

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One Response to Affirmations with Animals

  1. cindy says:

    Thank you. Glad you found it helpful. Take care. Cindy

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