Stop and Smell the Dish Soap (If You Want to Relax)

Cooking? Awesome. Dish duty? Ugh.

Not so fast, says new research from Florida State University. Taking time to mindfully scrub your pots and pans, according to the study, can significantly reduce stress and anxiety and--even cooler--make you feel extra inspired.

But there’s a trick: Instead of approaching washing the dishes as a chore, try to actively enjoy the task. Smell the scented dish soap, feel the water temperature on your fingers, admire your pretty dishware. We know, kinda cheesy...but evidently successful. Researchers say the more you tune in to the experience, the more likely you are to relax.

In fact, when study participants read a quick passage about mindfulness before washing the dishes, they decreased their anxiety levels by a whopping 27 percent and boosted feelings of inspiration by 25 percent.

Your dishwasher can now be used to clean far dirtier things--like flip-flops.