Dislike washing dishes after dinner? Here's why you should do it. Washing dishes with full concentration may help calm the mind and reduce stress, revealed a new study.
The research team 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.
One of the study's authors Adam Hanley from Florida State University in the US said, "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."
The researchers said, "We hypothesized that, relative to a control condition, participants receiving mindful dishwashing instruction would evidence greater state mindfulness, attentional awareness, and positive affect, as well as reduce negative affect and lead to overestimations of time spent dishwashing."
After conducting a study with 51 students, the team 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% and an increase in mental inspiration by 25%. The control group, on the other hand, did not experience any such benefits.
The studyfindings suggest that mindfulness as well as positive affect could be cultivated through intentionally engaging in a broad range of activities.
The study is published in Mindfulness.