14 Life & Love Lessons We Can Learn From Animals

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woman working at computer with dog

Animals can teach us some of the most valuable life and love lessons that can have a great impact on our relationships.

From the lifelong loyalty of elephants to the rescuing efforts of dolphins who have been known to save people from sharks, animal love lessons are abundant.

Here are 14 animal love lessons we all need in our lives.

1. Don't judge yourself and others.

Animals can teach you not to judge each other or be preoccupied with disabilities. Instead, focus on your abilities.

You don’t see a three-legged dog or a cat with one eye feeling sorry for itself. 

2. Offer comfort. 

Animals are sensitive to when you're sick and they offer physical comfort and emotional love.

They can make you laugh and forget about your problems and be in the moment. 

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3. Don't overanalyze situations.

Animals are not attached to ego, status, looks, or success.

Instead, offer an open curiosity and trust for physical and emotional attachment.

4. Be observant.

Animals can teach you how to be observant and tap into all of your senses including, your sixth sense.

5. Be committed.

Listen and watch out for each other just as animals do when they protect each other from predators.  

6. Give and expect nothing in return.

Animals can teach you to awaken deadened emotions through kindness, affection, and respect by giving and accepting each of these without expecting anything in return. 

7. Communicate.

You can learn how to communicate from animals. Even without spoken words as their eyes, their body language and their touch can tell you everything you need to know. 

8. Enjoy the special moments.

Run free of superficial wants and desires.

Animal play is much more obvious — they run, leap, shake their heads, whirl around, and thoroughly enjoy frisky behavior without any inhibitions. 

9. Learn to forgive.

Animals can teach you how to forgive each other after a conflict with true reconciliation, no hard feelings, no pent-up resentment, and anger, but with a kiss and some tail wagging. 

10. Have more fun.

Animals can teach you how to make life more fun by making love and play a priority so that schedules don’t rule or ruin your life.

They don’t watch the clock or make excuses that they are too busy or too tired to spend quality time with the one they love. 

11. Breathe and relax.

Animals can teach you how to relax with no worries, anxieties, and stress.

Just look at a cat or a dog laying on its back with its paws wide open. Watch how they breathe slowly and consistently as if they're meditating.

We often hold our breath or take short quick breaths instead of long breaths that oxygenate our entire body. 

12. Be patient, compassionate, and grateful.

Just look into their innocent eyes when you give them a treat they have been waiting for unwearyingly. 

You can learn how to use the same lesson in your own life when waiting for someone to call or meet you, even if they're running late.  

13. Learn to adapt to change and learn new tricks.

Many people are unwilling to challenge themselves and fear that change is always negative when, in fact, it can be the greatest lesson of all. 

14. Appreciate your surroundings and be fascinated by the smallest object for hours.

People often have an insatiable appetite for more, better, and different surroundings, objects of desire, and materialistic things.

You can learn how to be thankful with less from animals. 

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And these 12 animals can teach you endless life lessons that you can use to make your life happier and more fulfilling.

1. Cats

They teach you not to be afraid to be alone. Cats can amuse themselves for hours with nothing more than a piece of paper or string.

They teach you to display your affection when someone pampers you by making sounds of pleasure, snuggling, and even with eye contact.

Many women love to be touched in the same way that a person gently, slowly caresses a cat with loving strokes. 

2. Dogs

They teach you to give unconditional love. Remember when you come home after a long day at work and get greeted with a slobbery kiss and a wagging tail.

You can also learn to set emotional and physical boundaries in your relationships, just as you do when training dogs. Most importantly, you can learn how to communicate with affection to get your needs met.

A dog responds to kindness much better than to aggression. 

3. Horses

They can teach you how to persevere through difficult times and reconnect with yourself.

Many people with disabilities have experienced touching, grooming, and riding these beautiful animals for therapy.

When horses expose their teeth, they're smiling or showing submissiveness, much like humans. 

4. Lions

They can teach you to use your strengths wholeheartedly in all that you do, to face your fears with courage, and take your sleep seriously.

Lions actually try to avoid fights and the lioness plays a major role in the relationship. Lions are very social and have a wider range of communication than other felines.

5. Monkeys

They have good communication skills through body language, touching hands, kissing, and a variety of gestures and facial expressions, including sticking their tongue out when they're angry.

You can learn how to express feelings and not keep them inside where they will fester into resentment. 

7. Butterflies

They are a great example of how you can transform yourself from gloom into happiness as they transform from caterpillars into magnificent flying butterflies.

Their wings are transparent and show how beautiful it is to truly "see" each other as you are without hiding behind a façade. 

8. Elephants

They are known for their nurturing and human-like cuddling to offer reassurance to their family.

You can learn to be protective, loyal, and nurturing of the people you love and to let them know that they are making a difference in your life.

9. Dolphins

They understand when another dolphin or even a person is in danger and will do whatever it can to rescue them.

As humans, you want to be able to rely on your partner with your life, knowing that they will protect you. 

Dolphins show empathy and take care of each other, working as a team to protect their pod, much like poly families.  

10. Penguins

They pair off for many years. Both the male and female take turns incubating their egg and feeding their baby.

There are no power struggles and parenting is done equally. You can learn to improve your foundational parenting principles from penguins. 

11. Swans

They are known to be monogamous for life and have human qualities like compassion and taking care of each other.

After mating, the male swan constructs the nest and will attack anyone perceived as a threat to their chicks, including humans.

These are basic human instincts that go back to the stone age. 

12. Foxes

They are frisky, especially during breeding season. Male foxes court the vixens and often fight other males to win the female foxes' affection. Then, they make a lot of noises howling, yipping, and screaming during sex, which can take up to 20 minutes.

Like humans, foxes have a large vocabulary of sounds especially during lovemaking, so let your partner know how much you are enjoying intimacy by releasing sounds of pleasure. 

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Dr. Ava Cadell is an author, clinical sexologist, sex counselor, founder of Loveology University, and president of the American College of Sexologists International. For more information, visit her website.