Home-cooked meals are not only about controlling your calories. The daily activity helps you keep your creative side active, de-stress from a long day of work. Doing small focused tasks and learning new things keeps your brain working. Not to mention the satisfying feeling of creating something new every day. Time to explore the surprising psychological benefits of cooking at home.
More than just about food
Cooking and baking can help fight against depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, stress, addiction, boost self-esteem and many other psychological issues. The act of creating a dish or a dessert, especially from scratch, requires full focus throughout the entire process. The structure helps. You pick the ingredients, prepare them and add them at a specific time with the right temperature.
Cooking and baking are also great ways for you to express your creativity. It can seem like an automatic activity when you are following a recipe. Yet almost every recipe there is the opportunity to be creative and has room for exploration. Add different frosting flavor for your cake or alter between chicken or beef for your noodles.
Cooking and relaxation
Dinner is possibly the most pleasant meal to cook at home. After working hours so you can divert your thoughts, relax and just focus on chopping and mixing. Your day might have been horrible or you might have felt like you haven’t done anything productive. Yet just making a meal for yourself will give you the feeling of accomplishment and self-worth. Feeling accomplished makes your brain release serotonin – the happiness hormone. It helps prevent depression, among other things.
In the kitchen, every ingredient goes through a physical change. Observing these changes has been proven to be a type of meditation. Paying attention to the changes of smell, texture, sound, and size matters. For example how a round white onion can go from making your eyes burn into sizzling in your pan.
Even after you have cooked and eaten, the concept of cooking is always in the back of your mind. When watching a movie or walking down the street because you are always looking for the next delicious meal to make. Numerous ways to improve or make a recipe differently.
Cooking loves company
Being in the kitchen with another person also has a series of communication benefits. It improves relationships. Since each person has their unique taste, teamwork comes into cooking. When you are cooking for someone, keeping their preferences in mind when choosing a dish is its own experience. Making something entirely for someone else will make you happy. Seeing a positive reaction from something that you have created is one of the best feelings in the world.
Home-cooked meals also help control your diet. Every single ingredient in your dish has been selected by you and you know exactly what they do. Not to mention saving money will make dining out more special.
There is no excuse to not make an effort to cook at home more often. Especially considering the numerous psychological benefits of cooking at home explored earlier in this article. What more excuse do you need?