An Attitude of Gratitude
By ASCP Staff
We would all like to think we’re grateful for the good things in our lives. But how often do we consciously remember to be thankful? Real life can throw us curve balls that make gratitude evaporate. You wake up to your unhappy toddler who is screaming that her big brother is picking on her. You are on your way to the salon and your car runs out of gas. You have a full schedule booked with perms, highlights, and cuts, and you notice your first client is the one who never fails to complain about your prices, and always reminds you that she deserves a discount for being such a loyal client. Somedays, it’s tough to remain in an attitude of gratitude. But no matter how frantic or hectic your day begins, remaining in gratitude can only help. It may require a mindset shift to make being thankful a daily habit, but once you practice gratitude, everything in your life will improve, from personal relationships and health to the hair services you provide and your sense of well-being. You will feel more positive and more present in the moment. It takes a conscious effort even when things that are going well—and especially when things aren’t.
If you’re a self-help book junkie, you may have been looking for something to revitalize your motivation and your passion for your work as a hairdresser, or just inspiration for life in general. Just about every self-help book will agree that gratitude can improve everything from self-esteem and depression to business metrics and branding. Gratitude is essential to the root of happiness.
Gratitude is dependent on you, and you alone. For abundant reward with minimal effort, look for one thing—just one thing— each day to be grateful for. If you focus on the things in your life you’re grateful for, you’ll have much less time for negativity.
Think about the people in your life who live in an attitude of gratitude. Do you notice they have more empathy, are more patient, have higher self-esteem, and are very resilient? Another plus—neuroscience has proven that it is impossible for the human brain to experience gratitude and fear at the same time. It is not possible to be afraid if you’re feeling gratitude. One more huge benefit, people who practice gratitude have fewer aches and pains and even sleep better. (For more, check out www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/2015....)
The Thanksgiving holiday is nearly here, and it’s the time of year most of us pause to express our thanks for good things in our lives. When you have a feast on your table, friends and loved ones gathered ’round, and a cozy fire warming the room, how could you not feel grateful? But what about the things we take for granted every day? Being able to take a walk and breathe fresh air, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee, or the roses on your kitchen table. The ability to see a clear, blue sky or a child’s precious smile. The touch of your puppy’s soft fur. The taste of a decadent piece of dark chocolate. Not to mention that you also get to spend every day with your clients who love what you do to their hair and look forward to spending time with you during their service. Sure, Thanksgiving is a time when we are reminded of all we have to be grateful for, but it’s also a gift that can help you through your darkest hours. In those bleak, absolute worst times, you might not always be happy—but there’s always something to be grateful for. Gratitude allows you to navigate through life’s valleys towards a higher place.
Each day, find at least one thing you’re grateful for. It could be that you just did an amazing updo for one of your favorite clients for her bridal shower, and she’s thrilled with the results. Maybe it’s a kind smile from a stranger on the street, or a sweet good morning kiss from your spouse. If you find you’re feeling uninspired, remember that one thing, or the many things, that are good in your life, and try practicing gratitude.
Here are five ways you can develop an attitude of gratitude:
If you pay attention and start appreciating everything good in your life, you will increase your positive attitude. Being an upbeat, grateful person attracts other people into your life who have a similar mindset.
Every day, take the time to journal three things that you’re grateful for. If you do this each morning, it sets the mood for your entire day. Even if you’ve had a bad day, ending the day with writing three more things you’re grateful for will make the bad day fade, and allow you to sleep more peacefully.
Surround Yourself with Gratitude-Focused People
Who wants to be around “Debbie Downer”? Negative people will only bring you down. Surround yourself with people who practice gratitude, and watch your gratitude and appreciation grow. The more time you spend in a positive environment, the happier you will be.
Live in the Present
Living in the present can help you reframe what you’re grateful for right now. It can also help focus clearly on the future you want to create. When you live in the present, you can see how far your life has progressed and celebrate your achievements from past accomplishments.
Commit to Practicing Gratitude
To help you appreciate the things that matter to you and gain insight to what you consider important, commit to practicing gratitude daily. It will help you define your purpose and become clear on why certain things and people are valuable to you. You also get to see the positive effect your gratitude has on others.
Gratitude can change your life. An attitude of gratitude also ensures you feel happier, more positive, and more excited. What more could you ask for?