Mindfulness is everywhere these days. There are numerous places you can learn it and Ariana Huffington is a big fan along with scores of celebrities from Goldie Hawn to Ruby Wax.
Is mindfulness in your salon or in your life?
Let’s be clear about what it actually is first. Here’s a definition of mindfulness from a great source (we recommend the book Mindfulness: finding peace in a frantic world):
‘Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation that was little known in the West until recently. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them.
You come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.’
So, that’s it. Mindfulness is actually quite simple. It is all about relaxing, being in the present and being kind to yourself. It is not cultish nor attached to religion. It’s a personal tool to improve your long-term wellbeing according to many studies. It can also make you more creative, healthier and more focused.
However, some people can be a little skeptical, unless, of course they try it.
OK, all well and good, but what does this have to do with salon beauty?
Well, in fact, our industry, might be accused of being superficial, yet it can also be a brilliant vehicle to helping customers achieve a little more zen in their lives. Here’s how.
Deliver product mindfulness
The beauty world is ablaze with beautiful objects, colours, textures and aromas. Mindfulness encourages us to appreciate and notice each facet.
We know the pleasure of the ‘click factor’, when we buy, say, a new lipstick and it feels like an indulgent treat. Add to this a little mindfulness and our smile is even broader. Notice the gorgeous packaging, the colour, the scent of the lipstick, the feel as it glides on, the look of it on the lip.
Also, there are numerous products that have been specifically developed to help us cope with our full-on 21st century lives. There are many balms and oils packed with natural destressors such as lavender oil. Anne Murray, from Aromatherapy Associates believes this is where oils come in: “The natural aromas of many essential oils have proven effects to calm and balance the mind, so you can choose a favorite blend and enjoy a mindful moment whenever you use it,” she continues.
If your clients are buying products from you, it might be nice for you to help them notice the features of the products, maybe the things that you love about them. It’s all in the detail.
Encourage customers to get more ritually mindful
We all perform daily beauty rituals and mindfulness encourages us to slow things right down and pay attention to the here and now. We’re not thinking shopping lists or what we are going to do next when we are in the mindful zone!
For example, imagine a mindful cleansing ritual where the skin is massaged particularly slowly and carefully. There’s no rush with time taken to experience the texture of the skin, to observe ourselves as we cleanse and care for ourselves, to notice the effectiveness of the product and to appreciate the experience of making our skin clean and fresh.
We can use the opportunity to take in some deep breaths and exhale the tension. Try it, it really can transform the experience and can be very calming – especially at night time. If you love the effect, tell your clients!
The mindfulness of a full-on indulgent treatment experience
You know that your customers come to you for more than just a treatment, they want some indulgent ‘me time’ and to switch off from life and connect with their body and senses. Facials and massage (even nail treatments) are a great way to help clients to attain a state of bliss.
Mindfulness and your salon
Why not explore mindfulness yourself. You’re a busy entrepreneur and it will be a great tool in your life! Equally, it’s worth considering training your therapists in mindfulness – they will then be equipped to be more empathetic and in tune with client emotions, as well as to help clients deeply relax, release stress and strains and breathe deeply. And, they’ll also gain the personal benefits. What’s not to like?!
There are lots of ways the beauty world can bring a little mindful happiness to people’s everyday lives. Give it a try and let us know how you get on!