Cooking has long been known as a means of satisfying the stomach, but not many people realize that taking time to prepare food in the kitchen also cures the brain. Studies show that cooking is one of the many activities that you can perform on a daily basis to calm your nerves and relieve stress. According to psychiatry expert Jacqueline Gollan of Northwestern University, cooking brings about pleasure and a sense of accomplishment, which are vital in bettering one's mental health. Here are more ways in which cooking can help you to beat stress and other mental conditions:
Activates Your Senses
Mental conditions like stress numb the senses. Cooking, on the other hand, activates the senses. The aroma of a nicely fried beef or the pleasant sight of a well-baked cake can go a long way in stimulating the 'sleeping' senses. In the kitchen, all your senses are in play—you have to touch, hear, smell and see.
Takes You Into A State of Mediation
When you are stressed, it is normal to find yourself thinking of a thousand things at the same time. But when you focus on a specific task in the kitchen, your ever-wandering thoughts will steer in one direction. For instance, the chop chop sound produced by the knife as it cuts through the tomatoes on the cutting board can assemble all your thoughts and help create a peaceful environment in your mind.
Calms Your Anxiety
According to Vivienne Lewis, a psychologist at the University of Canberra, thinking too much about the past or future is the kind of thinking that invites mental problems like anxiety. Therefore, making rounds in the kitchen finding the spatula or taking a short walk to the refrigerator to store cheese can take your mind off of deep thinking. If you can center your thoughts in the present, you will lower your anxiety and raises your moods. Focusing on foods that specifically improve the health of the brain could be a huge bonus in your fight against stress and stress-related conditions such as depression. Food products that are rich in omega-3 fats, amino acids, zinc, iron and vitamins are some of the best brain boosters and you should consume them on a daily basis. And while you are at it, keep in mind that the idea is not to perfect your cooking; the aim is to use the cooking process to deal with your condition. However, there is no harm in sharpening your skills and enjoying the act at the same time.
For more information, contact an expert in psychiatry or psychiatric reporting.