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Chore or stress reliever: Study suggests that washing dishes decreases stress

Date:
October 1, 2015
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Mindfully washing dishes calms the mind and decreases stress, a new study shows. 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.
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FULL STORY

Washing those dreadful dishes after a long day seems like the furthest thing from relaxation. Or is it?

Student and faculty researchers at Florida State University have found that mindfully washing dishes calms the mind and decreases stress.

Published in the journal Mindfulness, 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.

"I've had an interest in mindfulness for many years, both as a contemplative practitioner and a researcher," said 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.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adam W. Hanley, Alia R. Warner, Vincent M. Dehili, Angela I. Canto, Eric L. Garland. Washing Dishes to Wash the Dishes: Brief Instruction in an Informal Mindfulness Practice. Mindfulness, 2014; 6 (5): 1095 DOI: 10.1007/s12671-014-0360-9

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Chore or stress reliever: Study suggests that washing dishes decreases stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165852.htm>.
Florida State University. (2015, October 1). Chore or stress reliever: Study suggests that washing dishes decreases stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165852.htm
Florida State University. "Chore or stress reliever: Study suggests that washing dishes decreases stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001165852.htm (accessed October 1, 2016).