Feeling dirty? Whose up for a quickie?
I’m talking a shower here people. Seriously. How do you feel about taking a shower? Do you view showering as a routine part of your daily hygiene, like brushing your teeth? Are you in and out in less than 5 minutes? Is a shower simply a means to an end rather than some deeply cathartic process in which you take great pleasure and can spend countless hours doing?
If so, you are one happy individual–literally.
Research shows that the longer and more frequently you shower, the lonelier, and less happy you probably are. Psychologist and Yale researcher, John Bargh, PhD., conducted a study of physical warmth and social connection. He concluded:
“The lonelier a person is, the more showers and baths they take, the hotter the water, and the longer they stay under the water.”
The study found that people use the physical warmth of a shower or bath to compensate for and replace the social warmth they crave. In addition to finding emotional comfort through the physical warmth of the water, those who like to take extended showers or baths also use that time to daydream. They tend to mull over problems or just let their mind run free. However, this sort of mismatch of thought is another avenue leading to unhappiness.
Harvard psychologists, Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, conducted a study to determine if mental focus affects happiness. They discovered that a large fraction of our thoughts – almost half – are not related to what we’re doing. An article published in Scientific America puts it this way:
“While you might hope all this mental wandering is taking us to happier places, the data say otherwise. Just like the wise traditions teach, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to wash dishes.”
Those who like to shower quick don’t have this problem.
If you are one of those who only likes the quickie routine, when you shower you are in the zone. Your thoughts are streamlined and focused. You are completely absorbed and engaged in the task at hand–getting clean. The tub is not a think tank for you. Emotionally, you tend to find yourself in a good space. You are most likely well-connected and socially satisfied. You generally feel loved, valued, and appreciated by your family and friends. You are also less likely to feel (or become) isolated, withdrawn, and depressed.