What do you do to calm yourself down after a long stressful day? Listen to some music? Go for a hike? Roast a bone and watch Family Guy? It turns out, this one boring chore can actually improve your overall well-being and improve your stress levels.
A study published in Mindfulness found that doing the dishes had a remarkable impact on your emotional self:
“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,” wrote the study authors at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
“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,” wrote the study authors. In other words, wash the dishes, but omit negative and distracting thoughts. Focus on the present moment.