Dishwashing Could Help Relieve Stress

by Honor Whiteman for Medical News Today

After a stressful day at work, some of us might hit the gym, have a glass of wine or simply settle down in front of the TV in order to calm the mind. But why not try washing the dishes instead? No, really. According to a new study, dishwashing can boost mental well-being.

Mindfulness is the ability to omit negative or distracting thoughts to enable complete awareness of one's feelings and senses in the present moment. The practice is believed to reduce anxiety andstress, as well as contribute to improved sleep quality andreduced risk for depression. In this latest study, co-author Adam Hanley - a doctoral candidate in the College of Education's Counseling and School Psychology Program at Florida State University - and colleagues set out to determine whether a positive state of mind could be reached through a simple day-to-day activity: dishwashing.Published in the journal Mindfulness, the study found that engaging in mindful dishwashing - focusing on the smell of the soap, the feel of the dishes and the warmth of the water - can trigger a positive state of mind.

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

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Marissa GandelmanComment