If you lack the motivation to wash the dishes after finishing eating the delicious meal you’ve cooked, we have great news for you!
Namely, according to a study, dishwashing significantly lowers your stress levels if you do it with mindfulness.
The researchers from Florida State University told 51 students to clean dishes. Before they began, half of them read a short mindfulness passage about dishwashing and the other half of the students read a short descriptive dishwashing passage that was straightforward, whole the mindful passage focused on being mentally present during the process.
Here’s an excerpt from it:
“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 as a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.”
The researchers discovered that students who mindfully cleaned the dishes (were focusing on feeling the temperature of the water, the smell of the soap, and the feeling of touching the dishes) had heightened their feelings of inspiration by 25% and lowered their stress levels by 27%.
On the other hand, the other group of students that didn’t mindfully wash the dishes didn’t gain any benefits from it.
“It appears that an everyday activity approached with intentionality and awareness may enhance the state of mindfulness,” the study authors conclude.
So, there you go. Next time your spouse refuses to do the dishes, tell them that it will help calm their nerves and they will thank you later.