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6 Ways Cooking Can Help Your Mental Health

6 Ways Cooking Can Help Your Mental Health

Did you know that cooking can act as a form of therapy? This new way of helping your mental health is on the rise as people turn an everyday hobby into a way to improve their wellbeing.

Cooking delicious meals at home combines the effective powers of self-care, creativity and mindfulness which can all work together to benefit your mental health. Here are six reasons why you should give cooking a go.

1. Gives You A Sense Of Accomplishment

Goal setting and accomplishments can have a major positive impact on your mental health. Preparing yourself or others a meal is a perfect way to achieve goals and be rewarded with delicious food in the process. Accomplishing a difficult dish you’ve been meaning to try can also improve your self-esteem and lift your mood, all things that can really benefit your wellbeing. 

2. It's A Creative Outlet

Creative hobbies are a great way to make you feel happy and empowered. Along with the usual creative hobbies like painting and writing, cooking is another avenue to explore your creativity. It might not seem like following a recipe is a creative pursuit, but once you start swapping out ingredients or adding in your own tastes, before you know it you’ll be making your own recipes and having fun.

Don’t feel discouraged if at first you don’t feel gifted or think cooking is too hard. Remember that hobbies don’t often come naturally to us, but the more you do it, you might find the more you enjoy it. And soon enough your hobby has turned into a skill you can impress your family and friends with.

3. Teaches You Patience

The meticulous and steady process of cooking can actually lead you to develop your patience. Cooking creates a situation where you need to focus and work for your delicious meal. It’s not the same as going out and getting the instant gratification of take away or buying a ready made meal. Perfecting the flavour of your dish takes time and patience but is definitely worth the wait.

4. Reduces Stress

Following the steps of a recipe, chopping your ingredients the correct way and even going to the grocery store to get everything you need, forces you to concentrate on the task of cooking which helps to reduce stress. Cooking allows you to slow down and be present in what you are doing, taking your mind off other stresses and things causing you anxiety.

5. Creates A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s no secret that what you eat can affect your mental health. A healthier lifestyle is very much linked to a better wellbeing. People who cook at home tend to eat healthier than those that go out to eat on a weekly basis.

When cooking at home you naturally fall into following a healthy, balanced diet as you are using fresh ingredients and eating less processed food. This allows you to take control of the quality of your diet and as your body becomes healthier, so does your mind.

6. Can Be A Social Activity

You can turn your cooking to a social occasion by inviting friends and family over to show off your skills. This creates an environment for social connection which has a major benefit to your mental health, building your self-esteem and combatting any loneliness you might be feeling.

Dinner parties can be a lot of fun where you get to hangout with people you love and impress them in the kitchen. By creating this sense of community you are actively helping your mental health.

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