Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How Boring, Repetitive Chores Will Make You Happy

The concept seems impossible. How can boring and repetitive make you happy?  The answer is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.  Yes, you are aware that a certain activity like washing dishes or vacuuming is boring and repetitive, but how can it make you happier? The point of being in the mindfulness mental state of focusing on one's awareness of the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, is a therapeutic technique.

Most of the time these household chores are time killers that have to be done.  They are usually rushed through with great irritation and stress.  Your mind is racing and you may even become anxious or agitated.  Yet, what if the time needed to do the dishes and vacuum were viewed as time for mental rest?  These times can be a way to relax and slow down our usually busy, overactive mind.  If we approach the chores with mindfulness, where we focus on breathing, being present in the physical action, let our thoughts come and go without getting hooked into them  and noticing the smell and or sounds around us, the time can be a meditation or break for us.  It gives us the time needed to recharge and rest.  There is no place to be but here in the chore and you can take the time to re-frame your thoughts into a more positive and productive place.

A recent study had two groups washing dishes. One group read a descriptive statement about dish washing. The second group read about the benefit of mindfulness during dish washing.  The mindful group increased their feelings of inspiration and joy by 25% while lowering their level of nervousness by 27%.  An additional study taught children how to be mindful during yoga poses, and these children had solid benefits of  improved classroom behavior, paying attention more, increased self-control, more participation in activities, and displaying caring and respect for others.

Mindfulness in virtually any mundane activity seems to serve as a simple way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.  Bring on the boring and see how much better you feel.

Stay healthy & well,

1 comment:

  1. Of course, some of household chores are boring. Nevertheless, mindfulness meditation is the only one thing to simplify your life! You are right stating that we'll see how better we may feel!