Stressed out? Go Wash Some Dishes

I don't really believe this but did you know that washing dishes can cancel out that horrendous, five-mile back-up commute home?

According to a new study, it can be stress-relieving.  Student and faculty researchers at Florida State University have found that mindfully washing dishes calms the mind and decreases stress.

It's that old (or new) trend, being in the moment.  And I have to say, for me, it works.

The study looked at whether washing dishes could be used as an informal contemplative practice that promotes a positive state of mindfulness — a meditative method of focusing attention on the emotions and thoughts of the present moment, reports.

“I’ve had an interest in mindfulness for many years, both as a contemplative practitioner and a researcher,” says Adam Hanley, a doctoral candidate in FSU College of Education’s Counseling/School Psychology program and one of the study’s authors. “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.”

After conducting a study with 51 students, the researchers found that mindful dishwashers — those who focused on the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water, the feel of the dishes — reported a decrease in nervousness by 27 percent and an increase in mental inspiration by 25 percent. The control group, on the other hand, didn’t experience any benefits. 

Who can complain about those stats?  Friends of mine say ironing does the same trick.  What's that old saying?

The past's history, the future a mystery.  That's why it's called the present.  It's a gift.


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