It Acts as a Creative Outlet
In your search for constructive relaxation methods, you’ve probably come across the idea that getting creative is helpful. People often suggest things like painting or learning to play instruments to ease your mind. Cooking works in the same way. As you try out new recipes, modify familiar dishes, and devise wholly new ones, you can get away from the constant nagging thoughts that center around your difficulties. You can put special care into the flavors and presentation to reap a sense of satisfaction once you’ve prepared a delicious meal.
It Brings Up Positive Associations
Food is a large part of our social interactions, so making delicious dishes can bring up lots of positive associations for you. In one aspect, certain dishes and their aromas may remind you of when someone in your family cooked for you in your childhood. In moments when everything around you seems to be in disarray, making a certain meal yourself can create a warm feeling. You can also use cooking as a way to bond with family or friends in the present. Different people can be in charge of various steps in a recipe and you can all talk and enjoy one another’s company as you carry them out. If you think back, this may be exactly what your parents or grandparents did with you.
It Helps You Focus on the Present
Too often, our minds are occupied with past events or things we must do in the future—this causes us to worry. Cooking helps you focus on the present, which is why it can act as a great stress reliever. Putting your attention into performing the tasks before you—such as cutting, mixing, and searing—lets you appreciate the here and now. You can take note of what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel since individual actions are often relatively simple, especially as you become more experienced. Even washing assorted dishes and using sharpening stones to maintain your kitchen knives can have a therapeutic, calming effect when you approach them with an open mindset.