Queues, wait time, protocols, guidelines…These words have become part of our new-normal. With these types of necessary restrictions placed on us, it can be easy to get annoyed, frustrated and fault-find when our life has been disrupted.
Many leaders and business owners have spent days designing processes and protocols in order to open their businesses and organisations at Levels 3 and 2. This has been painstakingly complex work, and all to keep their customers and staff safe.
I was recently at a cafe where someone was voicing their frustration out loud to anyone in earshot about the slow service from people who were clearly trying their very best.
Hearing my order called out, I thanked them (out loud) for their service and care. As I passed the disgruntled person they made the comment (out loud), “Surely that means mine will come soon”.
Well, I couldn’t stop myself (self-control is not a strong suit of mine at times). I stopped. I went back to the person and called-them (with empathy) on their behaviour. (Yes I’m still alive…and so are they!)
This situation got me thinking about how easily it is to get caught-up in our own world and lives and forget to show empathy and gratitude towards others.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. Empathy is the ability to connect emotionally with someone, listen with understanding and be genuinely curious.
Recent data suggests gratitude provides behavioral and psychological “glue”—oxytocin is associated with promoting the glue that connects adults in meaningful relationships. Not surprisingly, gratitude increases blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus, the master gland that controls hormones.
Furthermore, when we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
As we go into this forthcoming week, let’s take an attitude of gratitude. Let’s practice saying “Thank you” for the virtue shown or deed done. It could be saying “Thank you for making this lovely coffee for me when I can see you have a lot to manage”, “Thank you for the time you have put into keeping our children safe as they re-enter school” or “Thank you for your thank you”.
Let’s continue to keep it kind and say Thank you. xo