Our Tonic therapist thought she was talking about ironing as a therapy. In fact she was referring to the nickname for thermage, which is the face ironing anti-wrinkle treatment so loved by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Having ironed out that communication problem, it is worth noting that chore therapy is becoming a fashionable way to chill. Judging by our photo below, even the famous are getting in on the act.
“Ironing is therapeutic. Fact!” said one happy ironer. “It is like having a hobby. I’m not doing it because I have to, as I find it immensely therapeutic“. What makes this view even more startling is that it is being said by a male*, and he is not alone.
Chore therapy is a discipline of mindfulness, where the philosophy is that if you have to do a job anyway, at least get some fulfilment out of it. A mindful attitude lets you find meaning all the time, not just in the moments you consider worthy.
Also doing mundane tasks is well-suited to this style of relaxation. It is easier to focus all your attention on something that is simple, than on something that is complex.
There is plenty of research to back up such a theory. For example, researchers at Florida State University examined the benefits of dishwashing therapy (there must be more productive ways to get a degree!). It was found that the mindful dishwashers experienced a more positive state of mind after the experiment.
It was speculated that by being mindful of only the task at hand, the dishwashers were less likely to be distracted by the mental chatter of daily life that can lead to stress and worry.
Footnote > * Sorry ladies, but this miracle man is married and not available for hire. In consolation, it is worth noting that a chores phobia is called ergophobia or ergasiophobia, which is best defined as a persistent fear of work. Oikophobia, ecophobia and domatophobia are all words to describe the fear of houses, being in a house, home surroundings and certain items in a house.