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6 Tasks You Probably Hate That Are Actually Good for Stress

There are some things that we hate doing but have to, such as folding laundry or ironing your clothes. Basically anything involving your clothes. But there are some tasks that you hate doing that actually are good for stress.

Here are six things you probably hate doing that are actually good for relieving stress.

1. Washing the Dishes

A 2014 study found that people who really focus and put all their mental focus on washing dishes actually experience more positivity. They found that people who mindfully washed dishes saw an increase in positive feelings and a decrease in negative feelings. Now, it might just be that doing any task mindfully and focusing all your attention on it in the moment will induce the same effects.

2. Decluttering

A 2010 study found that women with less cluttered and messy homes felt less stress than women who did. The study showed women with cluttered homes, or women who perceived their homes as cluttered, had higher levels of cortisol, essentially the hormone that produces stressed feelings. Whereas women with less cluttered homes had less cortisol. So if you clean up your house, you'll probably be less stressed.

3. Working Out in a Group

Most people don't like working out with other people because they fear they'll be embarrassed or shamed. But one study showed that people who exercised with a group of people experienced about 26 percent less stress than people who worked out solo.

4. Smelling Your Partner's Clothing

This one's a little weird, but a 2018 study found that people who smelled clothing belonging to their partner reduces cortisol levels. Alternatively, smelling a stranger's clothes causes a spike in cortisol levels. Of course, if you're stressed because you don't have a romantic partner, then this won't really help you.

5. Reflecting on Failures

A 2018 study found that people who wrote about a recent event in which they failed will reduce the future affects of a similar event. Essentially, if you write about failing, the next time you fail, you won't feel as stressed out about it. So the old advice of forget about it and move on is actually bad.

6. Singing

Some people may be self-conscious about their singing voice, but a 2018 study found that singing with a group of people reduces heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels, which all indicates that people feel less stressed. Other studies have shown participating in any type of art, whether painting, singing, etc., is also a good form of stress relief.

(h/t Mental Floss)

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