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Life with chronic conditions like IBD, IBS, or arthritis can often be a rollercoaster of discomfort and stress. Amidst managing symptoms and navigating daily life, it’s essential to find pockets of peace, joy, and relaxation. One beautiful and comforting way to achieve this is through the practice of calm companionship with your furry friend. Yes, you read it right, a structured cuddle session with your beloved pet can be a pathway to reduce stress and enhance the bond you share. Let’s delve deeper into this wonderful practice.

What is Calm Companionship?

At its heart, calm companionship is about being present and reveling in the comforting physical sensations of stroking your pet. It not only helps in calming your mind but also creates a deeper bond with your furry companion. The cherry on top? It’s beneficial for your pet too, offering them affection and helping in reducing their stress levels. It’s a win-win!

Setting the Stage for Mindful Petting

Before you start, find a peaceful nook in your home where neither you nor your pet would be distracted. It should be a quiet space where both of you can unwind and relax. Make yourselves comfortable. You might sit or lie down, and invite your little buddy to join you. Remember, this should be a safe and willing space for them too.

Breathing and Observing

As you settle down, take deep, rhythmic breaths to center yourself. Allow your senses to tune into the moment, focusing on the gentle rise and fall of your breath. Turn your observant eyes on your pet, appreciating their unique features, the texture of their fur, and the calm that surrounds them.

The Art of Petting

Begin with gentle strokes, letting your hand glide over their fur. The touch should be kind, attentive, and tender, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level. Feel the texture of their fur, notice the warmth emanating from them, and the tranquil movements of their body as you pet them. It’s like a quiet conversation through the language of touch.

Engaging the Senses

Invite all your senses to this affectionate rendezvous. Hear the soothing sounds your pet makes, the comforting warmth of their presence, and their distinct scent that is entirely their own. The tactile symphony of sensation will engage you wholly, creating a serene bubble of contentment.

Be Present

During this time, your mind might wish to wander off into different realms of worries and to-do lists. Kindly acknowledge these thoughts and bring your focus back to the tender act of petting. This is your moment of peace, a rare gem in the hustle and bustle of life.

Connecting and Reflecting

As you immerse yourself in this warm connection, notice the emotions that bubble up. Do you feel a soft glow of happiness, a tranquil blanket of peace covering you, or a bright spark of joy igniting in your heart? Allow yourself to be present in these emotions, to really feel them, enriching the bond between you and your pet.

A Grateful Heart

As the session comes to an end, hold onto the serene energy and thank your pet for the happiness and companionship they bring into your life. It’s a beautiful moment of acknowledgment, of recognizing the joyous bonds of friendship that tie you together.

Embrace the Journey

There isn’t a stopwatch to calm companionship. It could be a short few minutes of bliss or a longer period of companionship. The key is to be flexible and accommodating to both your and your pet’s comfort levels.


In a world where chronic conditions can often bring clouds of stress, calm companionship emerges as a serene sky, offering moments of joy, relaxation, and a deeper connection with your pet. It’s not just a stress-buster, but a simple, heartwarming journey of being present and finding joy in the beautiful moments shared with your furry companion. So, embrace this tender practice, as you and your pet walk down the path of mindfulness together, paw in hand, towards a more peaceful and joyous life.