Need a Mindful Minute? Wash the Dishes (Really!)

Need a Mindful Minute? Wash the Dishes (Really!)

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Taryn Williford
Oct 7, 2015
(Image credit: KPG Payless2/Shutterstock)

When you finally have a second to yourself to decompress, the last thing you want to think about is chores. But a recent study out of Florida State University proved that washing dishes can have really healthy effects on your state of mind, as long as you do it right.

So what's the "right" way to wash dishes? Mindfully, paying attention to your senses and really taking it all in. From The Wall Street Journal:

The study found that washing dishes mindfully—focusing on the smell of the soap, and the shape and feel of the dishes, for example—significantly reduced nervousness and increased mental stimulation in dishwashers compared with a control group.

Researchers asked the study's 51 university students to wash 18 dishes after reading a passage the researchers provided. Just over half the students read words describing the sensory experience of washing dishes–that mindful technique described above–and the rest read a piece about proper dish washing technique as a control.

The mindful dishwashers experienced increases in positive emotions like inspiration, and decreases in negative emotions like nervousness. They also over-estimated the time they spent at the sink, suggesting that time effectively slowed down for the test group. The control group saw little to no change in any of the assessments.

So the next time you're looking for a second to unwind, mosey up to the sink and see if you can turn an everyday chore into a meditative moment.

Do you ever take up chores to decompress from the day?

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