If You Can’t Meditate, Chop Vegetables

…Or wash the dishes, or knit, or run the vacuum cleaner. Surprise, surprise, these simple activities feel as wonderful as a session of meditation: I can feel my pulse rate slow down, my blood pressure stabilize, my muscles relax. I’ve even had some ‘Eureka’ moments (the idea for one of my books came to me while ironing clothes) and at least one ‘Aha’ moment, when everything suddenly fell into perspective.

Why does this work? Repetitive, mechanical activities can simulate the chanting a mantra. While your fingers are busy knitting or washing, your mind gets a chance to slow down. For those 10 or 15 minutes, you get a break from the ‘noise’ of the outside world.

More good news: household work burns calories. While you are slogging away at the floor or scrubbing the pressure cooker, you’re giving yourself a mini workout. And just like every morsel you eat adds up, every little move you make subtracts the calories.

And don’t forget, this ‘meditation’ session is actually one up on the real thing: at the end of it, you’ve either cleaned or created something!

9 Ways to Stop Stress


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

Do both!

Justin M.
Justin M5 years ago


Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

The reason for that Anna is because our minds always lend themselves to instant gratification and when you weed your garden, the improvement is instant. Thus, you feel you have accomplished something and received a reward that didn't take as long as say one that would take a few weeks.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

If for no other reason...You don't cut your fingers off due to your focusing on what it is you're doing.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham6 years ago

I feel like baking is also a great way to relieve stress and homemade baked goods are so much better than store bought plastic wrapped ones!! :)

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

I cook all the time. It's also nice to be able to go out for a drive, if fuel wasn't so expensive!

amber c.
amber c6 years ago

so true! thanks

Anna Borsey
Anna Borsey6 years ago

Personally, I work in my garden when I need to get away from "real" life and have some time and space to myself. To do even "boring", repetitive chores in a garden like weeding or pruning is wonderfully satisfying, I find. I may be strange in this respect, but there is no garden chore that I dislike or find dreary or boring.

Polishing and buffing up brass and copper items to a gleam can also be very satisfying, as can polishing and buffing old furniture until it glows, using traditional beeswax polish.

Even cleaning windows can feel satisfying!