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Research Shows Washing Dishes Reduces Stress

So it seems washing dishes “mindfully” helps relieve stress. How about that?

A study by a group of researchers from Florida State University reveals that doing the dishes and focusing on that particular chore actually decreases a person’s stress levels.

These experts observed 51 dishes to wash, while splitting the participants into half. The first half was tasked to read a short mindfulness dish washing passage while the other looked through a short descriptive dishwashing passage.

The mindfulness passage read: “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 wondrous reality. I am being completely myself, following my breathe, 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.”

The analysis tells us that people who washed the dishes and concentrated on the feel of the water, smell of the soap, and the act of cleaning the plate, became inspired by about 25 percent and decreased nervousness levels by 27 percent.

The authors of the study wrote, “It appears that an everyday activity approached with intentionality and awareness may enhance the state of mindfulness.”

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