Engage in Mindful Chores
Washing dishes may not be on your list of things you like to do, but if you have stress in your life and just happen to have dishes in the sink, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Studies show that engaging in the act of washing dishes and other mindful chores can lower your stress level. Mindful (how things appear and feel) and descriptive (bare bones description of washing dishes) passages about washing dishes were shown separately to two groups of over fifty students who then engaged in washing dishes.
Those students who read the descriptive explanation got no stress-relieving benefits from the chore. Those who washed dishes after reading a mindfulness passage were more mentally prepared for the task and stress levels were reduced.
When you approach a chore or work task you must tackle, approaching it mindfully can open up many more possibilities to finishing the task successfully. For example, those who washed dishes mindfully were focusing on the smell of the soap, temperature of the water and the feel of the dishes.
Not only does the mindful experience help you finish the task with a better attitude, but it also improves your awareness and state of mind during and after the chore. You may have the same awareness by raking leaves or dusting furniture.
Mindfulness is much like meditation in that you direct your mind on what to do and think. As you progress in developing the skills to focus and concentrate, you’ll notice that it’s happening in other areas of your life too.
You may become more productive at work because you now have the ability to put all your attention on to the task at hand. Things go faster and you learn so much more than when you’re multi-tasking.
Stress in your life is sure to be reduced when you can practice mindfulness to get rid of the debilitating anxiety that plagues us all when faced with uncomfortable situations. Practicing mindfulness when doing chores helps to change the wiring the brain.
Changing how the brain functions and reacts to stress in your life teaches it and forms it into an actual tool for relieving stress. When you’re living in a state of mindfulness, you can also become mindful of biases and change those which may be destructive or adverse to you.
For example, some biases are normal, such as having a preference for the sort of programs you watch on television. Others, such as those that pertain to race or gender can cause problems in various life situations.
When you’re mindful of what you’re thinking and feeling, you can decrease the harmful biases that pop up in your mind and override it with logic and reason. This has much to do with controlling your thoughts rather than letting them control you.
Being mindful while performing chores or mundane tasks is a way to train your mind to react in better ways to certain life situations. When you’re bombarded with negative thoughts and you let your mind race away with them, you risk falling in to a depressive state.
Mindfulness is a recognized type of therapy based on some basics from cognitive therapy and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). From these two elements, MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) – can help reduce depression caused from stress and anxiety.
It includes homework on a daily basis where you practice mindfulness exercises such as awareness of your body movements and feelings, mindful eating, household chores and yoga.
Your full attention is given to each task or thing you’re doing in each and every moment. You’re taught how to respond to negative thoughts that usually accompany depression, plus feelings and destructive beliefs about yourself and others.
In studies, mindfulness therapy is found to be as effective for some as antidepressant medications and keeps those who are prone to depression from slipping back into a depressive condition.
Among women, dissatisfaction with the body image is a negative force that causes discontent among all ages of women. One study followed a group of women practicing mindfulness in everything they do and another group that did not for three weeks.
At the completion of the study, it was determined that those practicing mindfulness on a constant basis felt better about their appearances and also felt more compassion and less body shame.
Studies have also been done following people who cognitive issues. Mindfulness therapy was found to improve visual-spatial abilities and also decrease fatigue and anxiety. Attention span and working memory was enhanced after the mindfulness training.
Many people have trouble keeping their minds from becoming distracted from a task or chore. Mindfulness therapy trains the mind to focus and concentrate, reducing the ability of distractions to rob our attention.
Making mindfulness a part of your life takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, many things are possible. Getting your mind off daily trials and troubles is a healthy and productive way to keep depression and anxiety at bay.
Commit mindfulness to a daily practice by beginning for a couple of minutes per day and you’ll likely want to increase the time in a very short while. Reaching a true state of mindfulness can transform your life by helping you learn to live in the moment.
Try to make mindfulness a part of your daily life when performing mundane chores, eating and allowing negative thoughts to permeate your mind. Books and courses you can take on mindfulness abound, both online and in book stores – including YouTube videos.