Once you have ruled out any physical cause for attention deficit and hyperactivity in your animal companion, and addressed these with your veterinarian, it is time to look deeper for reasons and remedies.

     Just like children, animals with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder are often especially sensitive and gifted in ways that do not fit “the norm. ' In dealing with children and animals alike, it is important to stress their strong points and the beauty of their particular uniqueness so that they develop a positive and loving attitude toward themselves.

     With animals, it is important to keep in mind as well, that collectively they have suffered greatly at the hands of human beings. Consequently many of them “inherit” an innate sense of fear and anxiety arising from the collective unconscious of their species. This fear can, and often does cause or exacerbate a tendency toward anxiety, hyperactivity and an inability to focus and to learn. Even if one has lovingly cared for an animal companion from the time of its birth, this collective fear may still play a part in the animal’s inability to remain calm and centered enough to focus on thinking and learning in present time. Animals absorb and reflect trauma inflicted on their species as a whole it need not be personal to effect them.

     Both belief and memories are carried in the cells of the body and it’s organs. These reservoirs of emotions, feelings, smells, patterns of light and the memories to which they are connected greatly effect physical as well as emotional well-being. In addition to exacerbating hyperactivity and attention deficit, the stress of this kind of "inherited" fear can weaken an animal’s immune system rendering it susceptible to infections, allergies, organ dysfunction's and even dental problems. 

     There is a growing awareness of how both people and animals are influenced by the collective consciousness of their species. Animals in particular have not lost their links to the collective spirit of their species. If one considers vast levels of ill treatment of animals that has occurred in the past and that continues even in this time, is it any wonder that our animals are nervous, frightened and unable to cope or to learn? As the great cats are driven to the bridge of extinction in ever increasing numbers, is it any wonder that our house cats suffer from non specific anxiety and fear? As the wolf continues to be persecuted in many areas of the world is it any surprise that our dogs suffer from neurotic tendencies? 

     To effectively treat hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders, one would do best to address this underlying fear and anxiety as well as supporting the animal on the physical and behavioral level through proper nutrition, gentle training methods and lots and lots of love. Even when “breed characteristics” seem to contribute to an animal’s lack of concentration or hyperactivity, all is not lost. Each breed of animal, just as each nationality of people has unique characteristics, but even these are stored cellular memories and have nothing to do with the soul of the person or animal. The soul is pristine in its beauty, unaffected by breeding, personality or physical challenges. It is just a matter of getting to the soul of things. Breed characteristics do effect behavior somewhat, but it is possible to go deeper. 

     We must keep in mind that as well as reacting to collective fear, animals absorb and reflect the feeling tone of the environment in which they currently find themselves. Both the atmosphere we create internally in our mind and heart and the outward expression created on the atmosphere of our homes greatly influence the well being of our animals. They become exalted or dejected in response to the inner and outer environments they share with us. If we are frantic, hurried and anxious our animal companions may be frantic and anxious as well. If we cultivate a calm and peaceful presence, our calm and peace will be reflected back to us through the animal’s behavior.

     One of reason animals may show high degrees of anxiety and inability to focus and be calm is that they cannot reason the way that human beings do. They cannot distract themselves from an uncomfortable feeling by going to a movie or reading a book as a human being might. Without either the ability to verbalize or create distractions, they are often at the mercy of their fears and anxieties. While humans can invent thousands of ways to keep themselves occupied and not deal with environmental or mental problems that may be creating undue stress, our companion animals often cannot. If they do attempt to distract themselves it might manifest as an undesirable behavior. It is always worthwhile to look beneath the surface to the deeper issues that may be present. By their hyperactivity and inability to concentrate our animal companions may be trying to show us something deeper. 

     Our animal companions are often like the canaries that were used in the coal mines. The highly sensitive canaries were the first to demonstrate the effects from buildups of gases that could lead to explosions or harm the health of workers. So too, our animal companions are highly sensitive to their physical environment and to the surrounding climate of the thoughts and feelings in the home. They are often the first to demonstrate the disharmony that can creep into our lives. These disharmonies can be toxic to our emotional and physical well being and that of our animal friends.

     One aspect within psychology that is currently receiving a great deal of study is that of group dynamics. There is a growing realization that individuals cannot be isolated from the others to which they have a close emotional bond. If a child begins to get into trouble, it is now being seen that often this isn’t simply the fault of the child. The child is now being viewed as the weakest link in a complicated dynamic emotional system. As the least mentally developed and often the most sensitive member of a group, children can become the first to externalize and act out the emotions that have built up within the group as a whole. In a similar way, when an animal is having a high degree of anxiety it may reacting to a build up of energy within its particular family group dynamics or the stresses of a whole species. 

     We must keep in mind that our animals attempt to communicate to us may go astray through the inherent limitations of their ability to communicate directly. What they might consider a wonderful way to get our attention to illustrate some aspect of disharmony, such a urinating in the middle of the floor, can easily be misinterpreted and viewed as “bad, anxious or inappropriate behavior.”

     In the study of quantum physics it is being discovered that mind, thought and memory are not confined to the brain as we once believed, but that the mind’s intention and influence can also be shown to be non-local. The way an experimenter thinks and believes can often determine the outcome of particular experiments. We are just now beginning to investigate the ways in which collective and individual thought influence the way we perceive and effect our environment and the other beings in it. To a great extent we perceive what we believe - and how we believe influences what we see. Animals and human beings alike are often behaving in response to the collective beliefs of their entire species.

     In my experience, addressing deep seated fear and anxiety in animals and the often resultant hyperactivity and attention deficit is the area in which Flower Essence Therapy is the most profoundly useful. Flower essences, through their positive vibrational qualities, offer the soul release from all that is not of light and love and allow the emerging of new levels of trust. There are few among us who do not need releasing from past fear and grief to some extent, so it is a wonderful time to take flower essences with your animal. You will both be helped to release the past and a stronger more intimate bond will be birthed between the two of you.

     To support an animal in releasing both personal and collective past trauma, I would recommend the use of flower essences such as Anaflora’s Return to Joy Formula for a period of three or four weeks. Anaflora’s Recovery Remedy can be used for more immediate trauma and anxiety throughout the animal’s life during times of stress. To assist with the focus required during training, or to simply encourage a new behavior Anaflora’s Good Dog Formula can assist the animal in focusing on the situation at hand. All of the Anaflora Flower Essences can be taken by people, too even Good Dog! By taking flower essences with your animal a bond is created that greatly facilitates the healing process. The Good Dog Formula will assist you in remaining calm and unruffled during training sessions and eliminate some of the transfer of anxiety that often takes place when teaching an animal a new behavior. The Anaflora Special Stress Formula can be a great aid if family stress or tension seems to be effecting the animal adversely.

     Gentle massage techniques such as Touch are invaluable in assisting in the release of tension and fear held in the memory of the body. Flower Essence Therapy, Aromatherapy and other gentle emotional healers are simple, inexpensive and effective methods of getting to and releasing the underlying fear and anxiety that prevent many animals from reaching their full potential and living calm peaceful lives. These simple therapies can lay a clear emotional foundation from which all other healing modalities can then build. In addition, soothing, uplifting music and a peaceful harmonious atmosphere will greatly benefit both you and your animal companion as you move forward on your life’s journey together.

     For more information on where to begin when treating animals with flower essences see Which Formula Should I Begin With? For related articles see Why Do Animals Suffer? and The Care and Feeding of an Animal Soul For music to sooth animals see the link to Erik Berglund

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