Please find below a post by by Carole Bosanko
Cats are great just as they are. They become super special when we consider the positive effects they have on our health and wellbeing.
Cats can calm us, lower our stress level and offer companionship. They provide a structure to the day and a sense of purpose and responsibility. Cats foster our compassion as we care for them, think about them and want to make their lives pleasant.
As cats live in the present moment and have a soothing influence, they make the perfect pet to demonstrate the principles and benefits of mindfulness. Cats can make it easy to be mindful and also can show us how to be more self-caring and self-compassionate. Cats can share their mindfulness qualities with us and already bring them into our lives. The purring of a cat brings calm and reassurance.
A 2019 Cats Protection study found that 93.7% of cat owners said that their cat was beneficial to their mental health. ‘Pets at Home’ have said that pets were lifesavers for people during the lockdown in 2020. With a growing number of people feeling isolated owners are finding even more comfort in their cats.
‘Mindfulness for Cat Lovers” is informed by a long career as a Psychologist and teacher of Mindful Self –Compassion and a love and respect for cats and how they enrich our lives.
‘Mindfulness for Cat Lovers ‘ provides structured ‘ cat-related ‘exercises that will show how our cats can help us bring more mindfulness, self-kindness, and happiness into each day.
The book is divided into 4 sections: – ‘Mindfulness and Relaxation’; ‘Gratitude, Appreciation and Happiness’; ‘Self – Care and Self – Compassion’; ‘Cats and Resilience’. Each section has within it exercises that are short (up to 5 minutes), medium in length (5-10 minutes) and long (10 – 20 minutes). In addition, each exercise has a relevant quote and photograph of cats to enhance the whole experience. There is also a section on ‘How to Get the Most from this Book’ and an extensive resource list of websites, books and apps.
The simple, guided, mindfulness and self–compassion exercises can help us find peace in our day and help build happiness and gratitude into life. They take very little effort, not much time and can generally be done anywhere, at any time. Most are done with the cats and some are done without, but always more pleasant with!
Mindfulness and self–compassion can help reduce stress, manage ill health, help depression, improve sleep, increase happiness, boost the immune system and make life feel better …… so what’s not to love?
A bit about me: I worked as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service for over 30 years and I am also a mindful self–compassion teacher.I have run many courses, workshops and events on approaches to psychological problems and also mindful self-compassion.
I love the simplicity yet powerfulness of mindfulness and self-compassion and I am passionate about developing approaches that help people improve their health and wellbeing. With retirement came the space and time to look at new ways of sharing my knowledge and my enthusiasm.
I want to make mindfulness and self-kindness more easily accessible … to find a way that invites people to find out a bit more about them, in a way that is fun and that naturally fits with things they love and already have in their lives. Maybe even in a way that simply shines a light on what they may already be mindfully doing without realising it!
This is the first in a series of books that show how mindfulness and self-compassion can enhance our daily lives.