For most people, New Years is about Resolutions. It is at this time that we take an inventory of the year past and begin to make determinations about where we would like to go and what we would like to accomplish in the next year. In this way, resolutions can be sort of like symbols of our ideal selves. This is how we would ideally like to be. Whether we will get there is, of course, another matter.
Not long ago, I blogged about the effect of time spent around a horse on materialism. In that blog, I mentioned that simply being around animals illuminates the desire to connect with not only one another, but other living beings in general. Perhaps at no other time are we faced with the conflict between materialism and connection than at Christmas time.
What are you holding on to? Do you relationships sometimes feel strained? Do you feel as if you’re working harder than you should be? Perhaps you are wanting your partner to change, be something different, act differently, or do more of this and less of that.
It used to be that animal-assisted therapy could be grouped into one general therapeutic outcome, demonstrating reductions in violent behavior, anxiety and depression, as well as improvements in self care, body image and overall self esteem (particularly in the case of eating disorders), however, a recent study shows some different results.