5 Ways Cooking Can Help Reduce Stress

You're reading 5 Ways Cooking Can Help Reduce Stress, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Our schedules are ever so busy. With the world becoming faster paced today more than yesterday, people need more tips and tricks to save time.

There is a lot you might have on your schedule for today – a 9-to-5 job, exercise, a side job, social activities, taking your kids to and from school, and much more. Oftentimes, you might give in to the ‘fast breakfast’ commercial that you see on your way to work. It is understandable. Occasionally, you can enjoy a good take-out dinner but that should not be a norm.

Home-cooked meals are healthy, yes, but that is not all they have to offer – they provide you with a way to work on your stress. Below are the various ways cooking helps you beat anxiety and stress:

  1. The Act of Cooking is Enjoyable

Cooking, especially when you have to follow a recipe and concentrate on the best results, is just like any other project you can undertake. Just by eating out every day, you miss out on the therapy that cooking offers.

According to the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who take on and complete small projects every day are more relaxed and happier. The research published on the journal involved following 658 people who were cooking and baking.

For you to enjoy the experience, you need to experiment with different food items. In short, engage in a cooking project where you experiment with different recipes.

2. Cooking as a Creative Outlet

Cooking is one way to try different creative ideas you might be having. Baking and decorating a cake, for instance, needs creativity. Stress is known to numb senses and the aroma in food is known to activate your senses. Cooking, according the Debbie Mandel’s Addicted to Stress, is a way to explore your creative side.

When cooking, the aroma will activate your taste, touch, hearing and sight. It is not just the fact that you let out your creative side, you also gain control when you cook. Cooking lets you be the boss – you can tweak the recipes the way you want to create the food item you desire.

Control and anxiety might be causing your stress. When you get to choose the recipes you use, the method to use, and the decorations of the final result, you get enjoy the process. While at it, you forget your anxieties and stress.

3. Express Love through Cooking

If you have a family, or you live with a partner, cooking for them lets you express and nurture love. This is especially a great avenue to express love if you find it challenging to communicate what you feel.

Cooking for others is an expression of selflessness. It can make people feel more connected to you. When you cook for others, you boost your self-esteem and your confidence. The feeling you get when people are happy for you is enough to relieve your stress.

If you are good at grilling, for instance, you can grill ribs and enjoy with your family members or friends in your backyard. This way, you will all enjoy perfectly cooked food and your stress will be eased.

4. The Anticipation of a Reward

One thing that turns people from cooking is the cleaning that comes after cooking. Cooking gives you a lot of pleasure, more than you could ever get from all other mundane chores in the kitchen. Eating and enjoying food is a reward enough to motivate you to cook. Everyone loves to be appreciated and rewarded. Eating your favorite food is a rewarding experience. The experience is even better when you have made the food yourself. The feeling of self-pride is enough to keep you happy.

Even when you are cooking meals for your family or group of friends, they will all be anticipating good meals. So, start cooking today and it will feel better knowing you will enjoy a good meal afterwards.

5. Cooking and Aromatherapy

Do you enjoy the aroma of good food? The smell or raw ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables, the aroma of fried onions, the sweet aroma of fried or grilled meat, and the general aroma of food is enough to relieve stress. It is this aroma that arouses your senses and takes your mind off thoughts that make you anxious.

Numerous studies have shown that good scents, especially from essential oils or the aroma of food, are great at reducing stress. When you breathe in the aroma, it calms your mind and helps you stay free of worries. According to research, aroma and sweet scents can alter brain waves and change behavior to relieve you of stress.

Start Cooking Today

Cooking should be a project that you undertake. Every weekend, or during your free time, search for recipes of the foods you would love to cook. Numerous recipes are uploaded online every day. Scroll through your social media feeds, especially Instagram, and you will come across delicious, yet easy to prepare, meals. Pick enough recipes to try out for a whole week.

Besides picking the recipes, shop for enough groceries to last you through the week. This will save you time and make the experience more enjoyable.

If you are afraid of the chores that follow cooking, ensure you cook enough food for dinner and for lunch the following day. If you have a family, or you live with your partner, they can help you prepare some of the ingredients to make the experience better.


Cooking is a good way to relieve stress. However, do not cook just to relieve stress – make the food mean something to you. Cooking is also a way to provide your family with a healthy mean. Even if you live alone, a healthy meal will mean a lot to you. When in the kitchen, give the food, and your body, the honor and love you would love to receive. This way, you will not view cooking as a means to release stress but as a project you love.

With time, you will be more passionate about cooking and it will become a source of enjoyment. If you can do it together with others, the experience is even better.

You've read 5 Ways Cooking Can Help Reduce Stress, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.