Mindful Washing Up!

January 18, 2016

Washing up the dishes, a boring chore that is a necessity after a sumptious meal, or a way to help reduce anxiety, stress and depression??


Mindful meditation has become a buzz phrase in recent years in the psychology world with many studies being done on how effective mindfulness is at alleviating depression, reducing anxiety levels and even pain reduction in chronice pain sufferers. 


Mindful meditation varies to other meditation practices as rather than trying to clear the mind you focus just on what is going on at this present time, the sights you can see, sounds you can hear, aroma's you can smell, anything you can feel or taste. 


Washing up can be turned into a mindful meditation. A recent study in the Journal of Mindfulness showed that washing up mindfully can trigger a positive state of mind. The team enrolled 51 college students to their study and asked them to wash dishes. Before they did so, half of the participants were required to read a descriptive passage about dishwashing (the control group), while the other half were required to read a mindful passage about dishwashing, which emphasized the need to be mentally focused on the task at hand.


Compared with control participants, the team found that those who engaged in mindful dishwashing - in which they focused on the scent of the soap, the warmth of the dishwater and how the dishes felt as they washed them - experienced a more positive state of mind.

For example, mindful dishwashers experienced a 27% reduction in nervousness and a 25% increase in mental inspiration, compared with control dishwashers.


Mindful washing up requires fully immersing your senses in the task at hand. Therefore rather than thinking about your stressful day at work, or trying to remember what to put on the shopping list engage your senses. Feel the soap, bubbles and warm water on your skins, listen to the gentle lap of water on dishes, see the dirt washing away to reveal clean sparkling surfaces. 


So next time it your turn to scrub the pans, try a bit of mindful meditation instead and feel your troubles and stress wash away! 

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