What is generally considered a burden on daily activities is actually good for you, as it was found that doing the dishes alleviates stress and increases inspiration by encouraging mindfulness.
- Researchers conducted a study on 51 students, divided into two groups
- One group was used as a control, and the others were given a passage to read that encouraged mindfulness
- The main study group experienced a 26% decrease in stress levels, and a 23% increase in inspiration
Mindfulness is defined by a state of being active and fully attentive of the present time, by focusing on one sole activity. It’s often seen as a meditative technique that can calm both the mind and the body. For example, yoga practitioners use it by focusing on their own breathing. It’s said to relax the person mentally and physically.
Researchers at the Florida State University have taken it into another direction by testing the effects of dishwashing in achieving mindfulness. They conducted a study to see if the dull activity can promote a peace of mind and reduce stress levels. That is in spite of the fact that dishwashing is generally seen as chore that often sparks fights within the household.
The researchers gathered a number of 51 students, all below 20 years old of age. After they were asked whether or not they enjoy washing the dishes, the participants were separated into two groups.
The first group was given a 230-word long passage that encouraged mindfulness by focusing on one’s senses. The second group acted as a control, by being required to read a passage in similar length, but about the dreary proper ways of how to wash dishes. All the participants were then asked to clean 18 dishes each before interpreting their experience.
Those outside the control group found excellent results where it concerned reaching mindfulness. In fact, they reported a 26% decrease in their anxiety or nervousness. After reading the passage, they managed to reach a state of relaxation, where they focused on the sensory experience. They were more concentrated on the smell of the soap or the temperature of the water, instead of viewing it as a task.
The participants in the first group also saw to an increased mental inspiration by 23%. They used the time to think more clearly, as if everything slowed down and they gained more minutes to process life events. The researchers also mentioned that none of the students in the control group experienced these effects.
The study has successfully shown that dishwashing can encourage a state of mindfulness. It relaxes and better opens the possibility of in-depth thinking. Something so simple can calm both the body and the mind. And, who knows, perhaps it could also help you in getting over that creative stump.
It’s also a much more practical method of achieving mindfulness than just focusing on your breathing.