If you’re feeling nervous, wash the dishes
Washing dishes is not typically on one’s list of favorite things to do, but a recent study found it could be good for your health and wellness.
Mindfully washing dishes calms the mind and decreases stress, according to researchers from Florida State University who wanted to know if washing dishes could be used as a meditative method of focusing attention on the emotions and thoughts in the present moment.
After studying 51 students, researchers found that people who mindfully washed dishes by focusing on the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water and the feel of the dishes reported a 27 percent decrease in nervousness and a 25 percent increase in mental inspiration. The control group – those who did not mindfully wash dishes – didn’t experience these benefits.
“I’ve had an interest in mindfulness for many years, both as a contemplative practitioner and a researcher,” study author Adam Hanley said in a news release. “I was particularly interested in how the mundane activities in life could be used to promote a mindful state and, thus, increase overall sense of well-being.”
Mindfulness meditation and other practices that allow one to be fully present in the moment are important.
“Mindfulness meditation is a practice of being fully and attentively present in the moment, paying precise, nonjudgmental attention to the details of our experience as it arises and subsides, without rejecting anything,” says Dr. Chandragupta Vedak, a psychiatrist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “This well-conceived study applies that principle to the mundane task of dish washing and goes on to prove that one does not need a membership to a yoga studio to achieve that state of inner peace. “
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