Some of the psychological benefits of cooking


Cooking creates bonds

Cooking is a very intimate activity when you are cooking for others.  It is an act of caring, an act of giving, an intimate act.  It is an altruistic act because you give your energy and time for others without expecting something in return.  According to Dr. Ayelet Barak Nahum, culinary art therapist at the Tel Aviv University  “Cooking for others creates and affirms a primary bond. It can therefore be a very fulfilling and meaningful deed.' As a result, cooking for other creates bonds between the cook and those consuming the food, the very basic bond of survival and feeding.  

Cooking creates a sense of self-care

“There’s a self-care element in cooking,” according to Nedra Shield, a licensed independent clinical social worker at the Northampton Center for Couples Therapy. “If you’re cooking good food for yourself or things that make you feel good, cooking can literally be nourishing to yourself and that’s important.”  According to Dr. Shield cooking for oneself sends a message to the brain that you care about yourself and that you are important.  

 

Cooking is a practice of mindfullness

Cooking and distraction don’t go well together. If you lose your focus things can easily go wrong.  As a result cooking helps us learn to focus.  It helps us forget all the troubles of the day and focus on creating something pleasant and rewarding. “There is tons of evidence that mindfulness is good for your mental health,” shares Dr. Shield. “So if you’re cooking mindfully, it can be extremely therapeutic.''

 

 Cooking helps us connect with our past

Cooking foods our parents and grandparents used to cook helps us connect with our past and bridge the gap between generations.  A smell of a food from our childhood is really beneficial for our mental health especially if that memory was positive.  Some phychologists suspect that such positive memories could help treat depression.

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