(Natural News) Busy has become the default state of our lives. We go to work, pick up the kids, run some errands, cook dinner, drive the kids around, and if we get lucky, we are granted some time to relax and do the things we love. While some of us find peace in cooking, for others it’s just another chore of the day. And then there are the dirty dishes. After a long and exhausting day, nobody feels like washing the dishes the old-fashioned way.
For many of us, it has become unthinkable to live without the convenience of a dishwasher. However, there are nine surprising health benefits to washing the dishes by hand that will make you ditch the dishwasher and go back to the old-school, hand-washing way. (h/t to TheHeartySoul.com)
It encourages mindfulness.
Instead of thinking of the past or future, directing our attention to the here and now while being self-aware and focused on the actions we perform has been shown to affect our health in many beneficial ways. Some studies suggest that doing the dishes by hand can help you direct your thoughts to encourage a state of mindfulness.
It reduces stress and nervousness.
One of the benefits of being in a mindful state is the ability to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Researchers from the Florida State University found that individuals who wash dishes mindfully increase their feelings of inspiration or mental stimulation by 25 percent, while reducing nervousness by 27 percent.
It relaxes you.
While household chores aren’t precisely the thing that comes to mind when thinking about a peaceful state of mind or relaxation, according to psychologist Dr. Aric Sigman, doing the dishes can induce a relaxed mood. He says that the soothing, warm, scented suds in the sink can help you to relax, while the completion of a task creates a sense of satisfaction and well-being.
It reduces allergies in children.
Research has shown that hyper-clean environments are a huge contributor to childhood allergies. As reported by a study published in the journal Pediatrics, less efficient washing methods, such as hand-washing, increase microbial exposure which may reduce the risk of allergic diseases in children.
It boosts the immune system.
In light of the Pediatrics study mentioned above, Dr. Bill Hesselmar, co-author and an allergist at the University of Gothenburg, added that exposure to microbes early in life not only prevents allergies, but also stimulates the immune system in various ways.
It teaches kids independence.
While your children may not like the idea of getting involved in doing the dirty dishes, it will teach them some valuable life lessons. In addition to the health benefits, these household chores will teach them to clean up after themselves – a skill they’ll hopefully remember when they grow up and start a family of their own.
It cleans better and protects delicate dishes.
While some people swear by a dishwasher, others get annoyed when dishes don’t come out clean or glasses are covered with a milky film or white spots. When you wash by hand, you have none of that. Dishes are thoroughly cleaned, and you are in control of how hard you scrub, and how hot the water is to protect the more delicate dishes.
It gives you more time with family.
Getting the whole family involved in doing the dishes will enable you to bond with them. During these moments you can ask about their day and learn more about their interests and experiences.
It uses less water.
The last topic is highly debatable since some studies have shown that hand-washing uses more water, while others claim the opposite. In fact, it all depends on how you wash the dishes. Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany found that dishwashers use less soap, one-sixth of the water and half the energy. However, if you do it right, hand washing a standard sized dishwasher load only uses around one gallon of water while a dishwasher uses between 9 and 15 gallons of water per load. (Related: How to make your own DIY liquid hand soap and laundry soap.)