Fanette Weber May 10, 2020 Kitchen
”The practice of cooking not only eases the mind, but also relaxes your body,” says Wawrzonek. ”It helps you get into the flow of the activity and eases the tension that can show up in our bodies when we feel anxious or depressed. ” Aside from the process of cooking and the delicious end result, there’s another aspect of making food that’s beneficial to mental health: doing it for others. Altruistic cooking, research has shown, has a strong part in many cultures as a way to bond with others; you cook to show you care in a time of crisis, to celebrate, to entertain, or just to nourish. And those social bonds in the kitchen are beneficial AF. ”Cooking can be a doorway to connection,” Wawrzonek tells Bustle. ”Food brings people together, there’s no question about this. For someone who struggles with social contact, the act of sharing one’s creation of a home cooked meal can be really powerful. Positive feedback and just seeing someone else enjoy, appreciate and value your creation (the meal) has major implications for rebuilding one’s self of worth and value.”
Feel like cooking gets you into a calmer state? You’re not alone. ”Cooking can feel like a meditation practice,” therapist Justyna Wawrzonek tells Bustle. ”Many of my clients describe cooking as ’being in the zone,’ a feeling in which they lose track of time and just focus on the task at hand. 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.” And, she explains, this can carry into your physical body, too.
Kitchens have always been an essential part of the home and in the past decade or so the functionality and design of kitchens has changed. This is largely due to technological advancements however in recent years the kitchen has become a key focal point for the home. Family and friends like to gather here and kitchen user’s demands have increased. In this article we discuss some of the benefits of modern kitchens.
Cooking and baking present two different aspects for mental health: the activity and the result. And both have benefits. Psychologists told Eater in 2014 that the reason that therapeutic baking courses work so well is because participants get something tangible for their efforts. It’s called ”behavioral activation,” which means finding meaning in the things you do rather than just drifting through them.
When you’re having a bad day, science says you shouldn’t automatically collapse on the couch; it might be a better idea to break out the recipe books. The emotional benefits of cooking are myriad; many programs around the world help people with mood disorders and other issues get into the kitchen as part of their treatment, a practice known as ”therapeutic cooking.” And it’s something you can replicate in your own home, with a bit of effort and an ingredient or two.
Certain mood disorders, such as depression, can lower your energy levels and appetite, making it more difficult to convince yourself to cook. But studies have shown that, for many people, mental health benefits ensue when the oven gloves come out, even if the result is something simple. And the effects are particularly enhanced if you’re cooking not just for yourself, but for others, too. If you think this could be helpful for you but aren’t sure where to start, don’t expect to be dizzyingly brilliant in the kitchen at your first attempt; the skill of cooking takes practice, and all professionals and good home cooks have had years of stove time to refine their technique. Get a beginner’s cookbook and start small. You might be building up a tarte de citron in no time. Here are seven surprising ways cooking can be good for your mental health.
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