Cooking, as opposed to going out to eat, is very good for your physical health. However, were you aware that it is good for your mental health, too? Cooking is a great way to get your mind moving – and perhaps not in the ways that you would think. The following are some of the great reasons why cooking can improve your mental health and make you happier:
Repetition is Relaxing
When you cut, chop, peel, slice or stir, you are repeating the same action, over and over. The repetition can be very relaxing. Your brain is on one task and can almost be turned onto autopilot.
Your mind, focused on the one action, has no room for negative thoughts to enter. The same principle applies when measuring and weighing ingredients. While your mind is busy, your stressors are anywhere but in the kitchen.
You See (and taste) Your Results
Any activity where you can begin with a plethora of (often singularly useless) items and put them all together and are rewarded with a delicious finished-product is extremely gratifying. There is a sense of pride that comes from working so hard for something and having it turn out perfectly right. For example, watching dough rise into a loaf of bread that you find to be delicious comes with a feeling of satisfaction that is almost unparalleled (in the author’s opinion). This leads me to my next point.
Food Makes People Happy
After you have cooked a meal, and cleared your head while doing so, you have this end result that you are very proud of. You also have the opportunity to share your creation with those around you. This can be a very joy-filled experience. Watching everyone’s faces as they taste something that you have created out of singularly useless items, with your own hands, is an exciting occurrence. Sure, not everyone may like every dish you serve. However, it is important to remember that food makes people happy. So, if some people aren’t as impressed as you had hoped they would be, maybe you will choose to get back in the kitchen and try again!
Cooking Promotes Creativity
Recipes are not law. You do not have to abide by any rules when you are in the kitchen. You can tweak and twist and improvise as much as you’d like. According to Goodnet.org, scientists have found a strong correlation between expressing creativity and a person’s overall wellbeing. So, the next time you are feeling blue, or stressed, see how a little kitchen therapy makes you feel!