5 Dreaded Tasks That Are Actually Great for Managing Stress

©Unsplash,Gabriel Matula

Sometimes, stress relief comes in places we don’t expect. I know for me, washing dishes and cleaning are HUGE stress relievers, and I do them just give my brain a little break once in a while.

Here are 5 tasks you might not necessarily enjoy, but, if you’re stressed out, maybe consider giving them a shot:

1. Wash the dishes

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Like I said, this one works for me. A 2014 study says, “A sample of 51 college students engaged in either a mindful or control dishwashing practice before completing measures of mindfulness, affect, and experience recall. Mindful dishwashers evidenced … increases in elements of positive affect (i.e., inspiration) [and] decreases in elements of negative affect (i.e., nervousness).”

2. Declutter your house

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Research shows that clutter stresses out women more than men. Research also shows that men and women who live in homes that aren’t cluttered have lower cortisol levels. So clean up and feel better!

3. Group exercise

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Some people dread it (like me) but exercising in a group has a lot of benefits and the research shows that it reduces more stress than working out alone. In fact, researchers claim working out in a group lowers stress by up to 26%. Get on it!

4. Dwelling on your failures

It sounds weird, but dwelling on your failures – specifically, writing about them – “may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful, reducing its physiological and behavioral effects.”

So take the time reflect, it may help you out in the long run.

5. Sniffing your partner’s laundry

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Okay, don’t think of this as creepy. A 2018 study showed that sniffing your partner’s laundry can help reduce stress. So don’t feel bad or awkward about it: if you’re feeling stressed, start sniffin’!