Over the Sink? Washing Dishes May Increase Increase Mindfulness if Approached Correctly.

If you are like us you were in for your fair share of dishwashing over the holiday break. Next time, figure out how to make that time work to your advantage.

Mindfulness if often discussed amongst psychology professionals, many times in the context of self-awareness or self-reflection. How does this this translate to normal people though? It’s great to say “you should be more mindful” or “you should have more self-reflection time”. But what does that actually mean for your average person? How can those of us not skilled in the science of mindfulness or in self-reflection improve our abilities in this area?

A new study published in October 2015 “sought to investigate whether washing dishes could be used as an informal contemplative practice, promoting the state of mindfulness along with attendant emotional and attentional phenomena.”

Washing Dishes! It’s something we all have to do at some point; even those of us with the biggest dishwashers still have those stray pots and pans that need good old-fashioned elbow grease. The researchers found significant reduction in self-reported nervousness levels and raised “feelings of inspiration” by a similar amount to those who focused on the task at hand.

We have seen information in the last year about studies having significant difficulties in being replicated – but in a task we all have to do anyway – surely this preliminary research gives us all an excuse to focus on the task at hand and possibly reap the benefits of mindfulness in an everyday setting.

To learn a bit more about the findings and interpretations, check out this Times article. Happy Washing!


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Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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