Do you hate cooking? Maybe it isn’t because you aren’t good at it but it is because you just want to relax instead of cooking a meal. Or how about baking? How many of you baked just because of the smell of cookies really comforts your soul or the taste of cookie dough makes you weak in the knees? You and me both. There are plenty of people who feel the same way about baked goods but there wasn’t ever anything scientific to back up how smelling baked goods really is for our mental health.
According to a new study from the National Institute of Health, cooking is found to boost self-esteem, social isolation, and a person’s general wellbeing. Have you heard of Cooking Therapy? This is exactly what I am talking about. Cooking or baking are a type of therapy known as ‘behavioral activation,’ which includes activities that alleviate depression by increasing goal-oriented behavior and reducing procrastination type habits.
A few different things can happen with cooking therapy. When someone is doing something that feels rewarding this can boost a sense of wellbeing and accomplishment. Or even after actually cooking or baking something, the gesture of giving it to someone else and seeing the joy on their face can certainly increase their mental health too.
You can even try signing up for cooking classes. That may feel a bit planned instead of just doing it when you are feeling a bit down, but regularly having cooking or baking in your life can boost your overall wellbeing and cause you moments of gloom to happen less and less.
Next time you feel a bit gloomy and a walk with some sunshine seem a bit too active grab your phone and start looking up a favorite recipe then grab your apron, roll up your sleeves, turn on your favorite playlist and start baking! Plus, you can always have the bonus of licking the bowl! Yum!