Washing the dishes can decrease your pressure?
It causes arguments in households the world over - that age old debate, whose turn is it to do the washing up?
And while the temptation to leave the dishes until the morning, piled high in your sink, is often hard to ignore at the end of a stressful day, scientists now believe the daily chore could be good for your health and wellbeing.
A study has found that people who do the dishes mindfully, focusing on their actions carefully, feel less stressed and nervous.
Scientists at Florida State University set out to discover if washing up could be used as an informal contemplative practise to promote mindfulness and improve emotional wellbeing.
佛罗里达州立大学（Florida State University）的科学家决定找出清洗餐具是否能作为一种非正式的冥想练习，提升专注力和情感健康。
They expected to find that people ’receiving mindful dishwashing instruction would evidence greater state of mindfulness, attention awareness and positive affect, as well as reduce negative affect and lead to over-estimations of time spent dish washing’.
Mindfulness is described as being a state of active, open attention of the present time, according to Psychology Today.When a person achieves mindfulness they observe their thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them as good or bad.
Instead of letting your life pass you by, the practise encourages a person to live in the moment and relish their daily experiences.To analyse the impact of washing the dishes, researchers at Florida State University recruited 51 students to engage in mindful dishwashing.
Just over half read a 230-word passage that highlighted the importance of the sensory experience of dishwashing, Fox News reported.The remaining participants acted as controls, and read a similar-length passage about proper dishwashing techniques.
They were then asked to complete measures of mindfulness, affect and experiential recall.
Those who performed mindful dishwashing were found to have achieved ’greater state mindfulness, increases in elements of positive affect, eg inspiration, decreases in nervousness and over-estimations of dishwashing time’.Feelings of nervousness decreased by 27 per cent in those who mindfully washed their dishes, while inspiration increased by 25 per cent in the same group.
Meanwhile there was no change among those in the control group.The researchers said their findings could have implications for other daily activities.
They wrote: ’Implications for these findings are diverse and suggest that mindfulness as well as positive affect could be cultivated through intentionally engaging in a broad range of activities.’
The study was published in the journal Mindfulness.