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We all know that it’s not great to sweat the small stuff. Being at peace with what we cannot control is an excellent way to live, and going with the flow can eliminate plenty of unnecessary stress from our lives. So if you’re looking for a masterclass on how to stay cool, calm and collected, allow me to introduce you to the This Is My Life Now subreddit.

We’ve gathered some of the best photos of animals and humans hilariously accepting the bizarre circumstances they’ve found themselves in, so be sure to upvote the pics you find most inspiring. Keep reading to also find an interview with Board Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Megan E. Maxwell, and remember to stay cool as a cucumber while viewing these posts. It’s all good, pandas. This is your life now...

To learn more about how animals can be so accepting of bizarre circumstances, such as the ones featured in these photos, we reached out to Board Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Owner of Pet Behavior Change, Dr. Megan E. Maxwell. She told Bored Panda, "Some animals are much better than others at accepting strange or new experiences. This can vary by species and also by each individual animal's learning experiences."

We were also curious how common it is for animals to befriend someone of another species. "Most animals do best interacting comfortably and safely with other species when they interact with that other species from the time they are very young," Dr. Maxwell explained. "For example, cats raised with birds or rodents from the time they are kittens are much less likely to hunt or hurt those critters later in life, and many can live happily together as playmates. However, if those same cats first encountered a bird or mouse as adults, their hunting instincts are more likely to kick in."

#2

From R/Mademesmile

From R/Mademesmile

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RafCo (he/him/ele)
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If they lay on you, you're required to stay until they decide to move. Poor little guy needs puppy love too

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We also asked Dr. Maxwell if these animals are likely to understand when they're in an out of the ordinary situation. "Most animals are likely aware when a situation is new or different, but some may show more obvious or overt signs of fear, distress, overexcitement, or avoidance, while others may seem less bothered by novel or strange situations," she told Bored Panda.

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If you’re not familiar with the This Is My Life Now subreddit, the concept is pretty simple. “This is a subreddit with gifs or pics of people and animals accepting their uncommon situations,” their ‘About Community’ page states. And clearly, the subreddit has resonated with many people. It has been around for 9 years and has amassed an impressive 1.1 million members. There are only a few rules that the moderators enforce: no recent reposts, no low-effort posts, content must be associated with the subreddit, and no pornography. Aside from that, it’s all just chill vibes in This Is My Life Now.

And why wouldn’t it be? Because as silly as many of these photos are, there’s no question that self-acceptance is important for living a peaceful life. According to Dr. Meghan Marcum, PsyD, one of the benefits of self-acceptance is being more capable of dealing with life’s challenges. When we worry less about what others are thinking of us, we can focus on what’s really important and view situations more clearly, analyzing both our strengths and weaknesses without judgment.  

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#6

The Resignation In The Second Photo Gets Me

The Resignation In The Second Photo Gets Me

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Some of the trademark characteristics of self-acceptance that Dr. Marcum explained for Verywell Mind are being able to fairly recognize what you’re good and bad at; embracing all parts of yourself; accepting your values, preferences, resources, feelings, intuitions and actions both past and present; recognizing your accomplishments without being vain; recognizing your weaknesses and faults without being overly critical; having a positive attitude towards yourself without needing others’ approval; seeing yourself as a whole human being, rather than defining yourself by any single characteristic; and being able to love and respect yourself.

On the other hand, when we have a hard time accepting ourselves and our circumstances, low self-esteem can lead to a host of troubles, including struggling with mental health conditions, having a fear of failure, avoiding people or situations that trigger negative feelings within us, having relationship issues, and engaging in self-hatred or negative self-talk.     

#8

Border Collie Working From Home

Border Collie Working From Home

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#9

An Average Husky Next To A Grey Wolf

An Average Husky Next To A Grey Wolf

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“Without self-acceptance, people essentially devalue themselves and this often has a negative impact on all areas of their life, including their work, friends, family, health, and well-being,” Dr. Marcum told Verywell Mind. That’s why we should all aspire to be like the people and animals featured on this list. No, we shouldn’t be pushovers or doormats. But we should be adaptable! If a kitten sits on your back, no big deal. If you’re a dog and your human swaddles you in a blanket, just go with the flow. This is your life now. Anger and frustration are totally justified in the right circumstances, but when something is truly no big deal, why act like it is?

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#12

Sleepy Squirrel

Sleepy Squirrel

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When it comes to learning self-acceptance, Dr. Marcum provided some tips. She notes that it’s important to embrace your values, set healthy boundaries, forgive yourself, avoid self-blame, don’t compare yourself to others, and focus on positivity. Dr. Marcum also recommends keeping a journal, trying out loving-kindness meditation and seeking help from a professional to further your journey towards self-acceptance. It’s not always easy to be as chill with your current scenario as all of the animals and people featured on this list, but if you do the work to get there, it’s definitely worth the effort.  

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Shonna Waters, PhD wrote a piece for BetterUp examining the path to self-acceptance, and she dove into what some of its driving factors can be. “Some people are naturally more self-accepting than others. Have you ever wondered why that is? It’s because our childhood experiences affect our levels of self-acceptance as adults,” Dr. Waters writes. “Our parents or caregivers are the first ones to teach us which aspects of us are acceptable and which aren’t,” she goes on to explain. “As children, we learn only to accept the parts of ourselves that they deem acceptable. We judge the other parts of ourselves as wrong, and we reject, suppress, and try to hide them. But the problem is that these judgments are arbitrary. They depend on the values and priorities of your parents or caregivers.”

So if you have a difficult time with self-acceptance, don’t be too hard on yourself. The way you grew up likely plays a part in it, but it doesn’t have to forever. “Different emotions are considered acceptable in different families,” Dr. Waters goes on to explain. “If you grew up in a family in which anger was unacceptable, you might be unable to accept the parts of yourself that feel anger or rage. Parenting style also plays a role in your levels of self-acceptance. Children take on board every criticism their parents level at them and accept them as truth. So if your parents were highly critical or demanding, the voice of your inner critic will likely be strong, too, and you may also have a fear of failure. On the other hand, those with more compassionate parents tend to show more compassion toward themselves.”

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#20

U.S. Teacher Wears Same Outfit For Yearbook Photo 40 Years In A Row. At Year 20, “Well This Is My Life Now”

U.S. Teacher Wears Same Outfit For Yearbook Photo 40 Years In A Row. At Year 20, “Well This Is My Life Now”

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#21

Eight Orphaned Baby Possums Decided That This Groundhog Was Their New Mother. (Babies All Have Since Gone To A Wildlife Rescue.)

Eight Orphaned Baby Possums Decided That This Groundhog Was Their New Mother. (Babies All Have Since Gone To A Wildlife Rescue.)

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As challenging as it can be to accept our situations in life, it’s important to find a way to, otherwise we set limitations on our own happiness and well-being. If we’re always dealing with internal conflict or a mental imbalance, we will never be at peace. And if you have a hard time showing yourself kindness, think of it this way. Self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff compares self-compassion to “the same kindness and care you would give to a good friend.” We don’t judge our friends, and we don’t expect them to judge us. Why shouldn’t we be as kind and open-minded towards ourselves?

#22

Cat After Surgery

Cat After Surgery

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lazyblackcat_779
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I imagine this is what my cat would look like from the inside every time he sticks his head in a yogurt container XD

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#23

The Face Of The Diver Says It All

The Face Of The Diver Says It All

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RafCo (he/him/ele)
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I call rays the puppies of the sea. It's crazy how playful and interested they are in us. I had one kept tapping me until I have him a scratch, then followed me around waiting for more pets. It was the cutest little dude ever

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#24

Struggling To Adjust To Our Single Roomed House

Struggling To Adjust To Our Single Roomed House

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Amber Minson
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This reminds me of when someone rings the doorbell and I answer it, and instantly my kids are all around me trying to see who it is,and acting a fool....

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As Maya Angelou once said, “I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes — it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better, I'd have done better,' that's all.” Something tells me she would be a fan of This Is My Life Now, just saying…

#25

I'm A Doctor Now

I'm A Doctor Now

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I don’t know about you, pandas, but I’m definitely feeling more zen after viewing all of these photos of animals and people in bizarre situations. Whether we like it or not, so many things in life are out of our control, and it seems to be in our best interest to just accept the things we cannot change and let them go. Keep upvoting the pics you find most hilarious or inspiring, and if you’re interested in checking out even more pics from This Is My Life Now, you can find our last article featuring the same subreddit right here!

#32

Guess I'm A Sheepdog Now

Guess I'm A Sheepdog Now

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#34

When A 3 Year Old Plays With A Boxer

When A 3 Year Old Plays With A Boxer

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#35

Yes! I Was Able To Reach The Phone. Otherwise, This Is My Life Now

Yes! I Was Able To Reach The Phone. Otherwise, This Is My Life Now

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#37

On The Far Left

On The Far Left

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#38

I Guess He Lives Here Now…

I Guess He Lives Here Now…

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#39

Every Time I Put My Feet Up

Every Time I Put My Feet Up

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Kat Pekin
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, looks like a ragdoll cat - I had one. He was so floppy and slept like this everywhere. Highly recommend!

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#41

What Did The Pelican Do To Deserve This??

What Did The Pelican Do To Deserve This??

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Dave Van Beurden
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe he got arrested because he couldn't pay. It was a huge bill. (OK, I'll go now)

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#42

He Shed Off A Whisker So I Put It Back On Him

He Shed Off A Whisker So I Put It Back On Him

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#43

Gertie Says "This Is My Life Meow"

Gertie Says "This Is My Life Meow"

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#46

This Is All I’m Good For. Lol. Boyfriend And Dog #1 Laying On My Legs While Dog #2 Lays On His

This Is All I’m Good For. Lol. Boyfriend And Dog #1 Laying On My Legs While Dog #2 Lays On His

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#47

Bent Down To Rub The Belly Of My Dog. And Ruth Took That As An Invitation To Sleep On My Back. I Hope This Isn’t Considered Low Effort Because My Back Is Killing Me

Bent Down To Rub The Belly Of My Dog. And Ruth Took That As An Invitation To Sleep On My Back. I Hope This Isn’t Considered Low Effort Because My Back Is Killing Me

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Caroline Nagel
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I stupidly taught my cat to jump on my back - I bend over and she jumps on. She loves it! She loves using my back as a scratching pole even more. Not so bad when I'm wearing jeans, very painful when I just come out of the shower and I'm just wearing a bathrobe. You all may think: why let her jump on when wearing something flimsy? You don't know my cat...she is the boss of me. She commands, I obey LOL

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#48

She Nurses Her Seven Puppies

She Nurses Her Seven Puppies

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Micah<3
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This exact thing happened with the mother of my puppy, I saw it happen lol

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#50

Imprisoned For Ten Thousand Years

Imprisoned For Ten Thousand Years

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Note: this post originally had 101 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.