Some people who want to get rid of their stress drink the night away or watch television for hours without doing anything productive. Some smoke or just eat whatever they see in the fridge, only to feel worse after. Obviously, these things don’t lead to alleviation but worsening of the stress and anxiety.
What about trying out one of the most enjoyable and productive activities that are healthy and fun? Anyone thought about cooking or learning to cook for those who don’t know how to fry some eggs yet?
For most busy individuals, they see cooking as a hassle and a chore, but it’s time we upgrade it and give it a new look. You ought to know that cooking is one of the most recommended stress relief activities. And health professionals recognize it as a way for others to relieve themselves of their anxiety, depression, and even eating disorders. It’s a type of behavioral therapy that helps one feel better about himself. “For someone who battles negative thoughts, worries, and is constantly bombarded with doubt, fear, shame, cooking can be a healthy outlet to bring peace and serenity into their headspace.” Justyna Wawrzonek, LCSW, LADC, said. Here are some reasons why.
Cooking Relieves Stress Because:
It encourages one to be creative.
Once you learn the art of cooking, you will not be satisfied unless you are sure that it looks better than it tastes. Your ability to create more color, beauty, and flavor enhances your creativity and imagination. Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC, encourages her clients to practice mindfulness in the kitchen. She said “Start by observing its skin—the color, the touch, the smell, then, as you peel and section the fruit, notice the moment-to-moment sensations, such as the spray of juice when you break through the peel.”
Aromatherapy from different ingredients is real.
A wonderful scent makes most of us feel happy, perhaps better than we used to feel. That’s what we experience when we cook using various spices from our kitchen, like pepper, cinnamon, and rosemary. We tend to forget about what has been worrying us all day when we cook up a delicious and aromatic baked chicken for dinner.
We can chop those blues away.
People who are fond of cooking would say that when they are in the kitchen, they vent their frustrations through slicing, chopping, or mashing, and more often than not, it works. Kneading and rolling dough would be more appropriate if you want to release your anger on the bread!
Cooking for your loved ones makes you happy.
There’s a joy and excitement that one feels when she cooks particularly for family and friends, and doing this doesn’t become a chore but a labor of love, which is quite satisfying. Eating together with your loved ones will also fill the air with happiness, improving mood and behavior.
It is an opportunity to be praised and appreciated.
When you’ve learned and mastered the art of cooking, people will begin to praise and admire you for your food, and this will help enhance your confidence and self-love.
Cooking for the underprivileged helps you feel good about yourself.
Try joining a soup kitchen or other activities for a cause, and you’ll know how it feels to do something good for others. There are many chances to do this, and you can start in your own community.
Cooking your own food encourages you to eat healthily and stay fit.
When you become a cooking and food enthusiast, you will learn the pros and cons of different food types. You will discover what food would help you live longer, wiser, and stronger, and you will discover what food would kill your years away. Knowing how to cook will inspire you to find ways to feed your family with healthy food.
“Cooking helps mental health in that it can be a creative outlet. It’s a way to channel energy, can be used as a distraction, help build mastery in a skill, and a way to express emotions through a different medium.” Counselor Nicole Lambert said. Indeed, cooking should be considered as one of the most effective therapies around. It’s easy to learn and very accessible. What’s stopping you from starting today? Nothing should!