Stressed? Time to get those dishes done!
When doing household chores, many youngsters and teens complain about how tedious washing the dishes is. Yes, it is definitely the most hated chore of all, especially when you have to handle dirty plates you didn’t even use yourself. Aside from being messy, some even have to stand for a couple of hours if the plates have been piling up for quite some time—or visitors came to the house for a quick meal.
However, a new study shows that washing the dishes might be a big help to those suffering from stress and anxiety. According to the study made by a group of researchers from the Florida State University, doing the chore “mindfully” can lower your stress levels.
51 students were observed while they washed dishes. half of the students were asked to read a mindful passage before doing dishes, while the other half was asked to read a short descriptive dishwashing passage. Read the excerpt below:
While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes. This means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly. Why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.
At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that people who washed dishes mindfully (they focused on smelling the soap, feeling the water temperature and touching the dishes) upped their feelings of inspiration by 25% and lowered their nervousness levels by 27%. On the other hand, the other group didn’t gain anything from the experiment.
“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,” said study author Adam Hanley, a doctoral candidate in FSU College of Education’s Counseling/School Psychology program, in a statement.
Though the experiment still needs to be replicated since they only tried it on a small number of people, the researchers believe that mindfulness could be achieved in a variety of common activities, and possibly reduce stress and improve psychological well-being.