Tidying your desk, watering your plants or folding laundry – these household chores are hardly the height of hedonism. Yet I often find myself seeking pleasure and comfort in small repetitive tasks.

If I’m waiting for an important telephone call, or stuck in writer’s block with a looming deadline, I’ll inevitably rearrange my record collection or clear up the papers dotted around my office – and it’s sometimes the most relaxed I feel all day.

Psychologists suggest there are many potential mechanisms that might explain the perfect pleasure of puttering – and they may well encourage you to engage in it more often.

As the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross writes in his book Chatter: The Voice in Our Heads and How to Harness It: “We’re embedded in our physical spaces, and different features of these spaces activate psychological forces inside us, which affect how we think and feel.” If we see order outside, it helps us to feel a bit less chaotic inside, he writes. “[It] is comforting because it makes life easier to navigate and more predictable.”

Read the full article at BBC.