Tuesday, April 16, 2024

HOW COOKING CAN IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

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Pexels Andrea Piacquadio

If cooking is not one of your favorite activities, we give you 5 reasons to change your mind, since it will help your mental health.

Although cooking is not my strong point, I recognize its multiple benefits, which are not only related to filling our stomachs with food. For many it is a form of therapy. But can cooking really help you improve your mental health?

From what it seems it can, since therapeutic cooking (Cooking Therapy) is not in the realm of imagination. A search on the internet is enough to find several references to seminars about how the kitchen can become your ally.

Of course, keep in mind that this particular approach cannot replace whatever treatment you are following, but it can become another tool in your quiver.

5 Ways Cooking Benefits Mental Health

1. It creates feelings of satisfaction

When you cook, whether for yourself or for someone else, you set a goal that is achievable. This behavior fits into a type of treatment known as ‘behavioral activation’, which simply means modifying existing behavior in order to change the way you think . According to the Society for Clinical Psychology, this treatment is used in cases of depression and anxiety and focuses on increasing the patient’s “contact with sources that generate feelings of reward.”

 

cooking and mental health

Pexels  Cottonbro studio

 

It’s also a good way to combat procrastination (if you’re that type), as well as boost your self-esteem.

2. Exercises creativity

Another one of the benefits that cooking has on your mental health concerns creativity, as it gives you the opportunity to experiment , to play, to discover the meaning of each ingredient. Even if you follow a recipe, you can easily substitute some of the ingredients. The creative opportunities that the kitchen offers you can have positive effects on your mental health. In fact, a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that those who engage in creative activities (eg doodling , singing , cooking) seem to have a happier life.

 

cooking and mental health

Pexels  Ron Lach

 

3. Cultivates patience

In the age of instant gratification, patience is a virtue in short supply. But, as the American psychiatrist and author Judith Orloff emphasizes, “patience does not mean passivity or resignation, but strength. It’s an emotionally liberating practice of waiting, watching and knowing when to take action .’ Cooking, then, with so many stages of preparation, baking and setting, with the time it takes to taste the final result, is an excellent exercise in cultivating this virtue.

 

cooking and mental health

Pexels  Nicole Michalou

 

4. It helps you connect with those around you

Cooking for others can be an extremely rewarding experience that helps build your self-esteem. In addition, by asking others (eg your children or friends) to participate in this experience, you cultivate a sense of community and improve communication between you. In addition, you all learn together what delegation means and how everyone has their own role and responsibilities in an end result.

5. It improves your relationship with food

The mental health benefits of cooking are also linked to your relationship with food. By learning to cook at home, you learn to eat healthier and more balanced and to try a variety of foods.

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