We cook not just because of safety, digestibility or edibility; we also cook for our state of mind and for pleasure. Food is surely more than a basic need. It stimulates many human impulses and is linked to our psychology. And overeating after cravings is not the only relation between food and psychology. Okay, grabbing junk food every time dealing with stress might be an issue, but there are more constructive effects of food on us. Spending time in kitchen raises our mood. It gives us the chance to create something good for ourselves, brings us together with our loved ones, releases the feel-good chemicals in our brain and gives us a pure joy and pleasure after all. It’s a therapy, a way that we treat ourselves kindly. It has many benefits on our well-being in many ways. Here are five of them coming.
1). Enhances mindfulness
Cooking is one of the things that help you to be in the present moment. It appeals to all of your five senses; this urge awakens good feelings and eliminates the negative ones, which sharpens your perception and eventually raises your mindfulness. You start to think more clearly and become able to concentrate easily. Spending time in the kitchen is a shortcut of therapy. It’s also a way of slowing down while everything else is too fast. Focusing on only what you are doing in that moment and going with the flow reduce your stress level, helps you to feel better if you were having a bad day. So it’s just not cooking we are mentioning, but an awakening experience.
2). Boosts creativity and other skills
When you are into cooking, you put all skills on the table. Because it is a multidimensional activity and requires different abilities. This is one of the great benefits of it. Cooking allows to bring your multitasking skills into the play and develop them by practice. In the kitchen, you find yourself in an organizational structure. Paying attention to every factor around you while cooking makes you more practical. Trying new recipes boosts your creativity, you become more open to innovative ideas and you start to create new tastes out of same ingredients. Every new meal you prepare can be considered as a contribution to your creativity and other skills.
3). Connects you with other people
People cook, share with each other, and dine together in peace. Food is an amazing bridge between individuals. Cooking for other people arouses your social feelings and develops your altruism. When you prepare meal for others as well as yourself, you become more caring and more companionable. Cooking together on the other hand, is even an another level of expressing positive emotions to each other. Gathering based on such a basic human need and enjoying it create connection, and this is a special kind of intimacy.
4). Supports your health
Beyond all, there are some health-related advantages of cooking. It feels safe to know what’s in your food while eating. You know the ingredients and how they are made. By preparing your own food, you substantially avoid additives that packed products contain. You start to consume more nutritious food. Not only your stomach but also your body systems would be happy about it. Cooking supports your health. If you develop it as a habit by time, eating well becomes a part of your routine and you eventually adopt a healthy lifestyle. Because what you eat affects how you feel. Besides, cooking your own food gives you the chance to manage your eating which means you can control your calories. If you are trying to lose weight but still keep eating fast food, going to your kitchen might be a good start to get in shape and reach your summer body.
5). Makes you happy
Spending time in kitchen is a blissful activity and it makes you happy in the end. It is well known that cooking boosts “happy hormones”. The reason why cooking arouses positive feelings is that it’s actually associated to four certain hormones:
Serotonin: regulates mood as well as appetite and digestion.
Dopamine: is linked to pleasurable activities and known as “feel-good” hormone.
Oxytocin: is known as “love-hormone” and provides bonding in relationships.
Endorphin: is a natural pain reliever and is released in reward-producing activities.
So, it’s not only psychological how kitchen activities affect us, but it’s also biological and neurological.
Cutting vegetables, mixing ingredients, creating new recipes are more than what they seem like. They all bring positive values to our lives.
Spend more time in the kitchen. At the end of the day, you will have your happy chemicals in your whole body. When dopamine comes, don’t let it go; take it, go to your balcony and enjoy every second of it. Happiness is priceless after all.