Not all of us have the cooking skills to land a spot on “Top Chef,” but there are a lot of advantages to knowing your way around the kitchen. Cooking not only lets you create amazing things that you then get to eat, but it turns out it can also improve mental health.
According to a report from “Psychology Today,” culinary therapy is a new treatment being prescribed to people for various mental health conditions and behavioral issues, including depression, anxiety, ADHD and addiction. Cooking and baking are a part of
“Behavioral activation” therapy, which includes activities that treat depression by “increasing goal-oriented behavior and reducing procrastination.”
The idea is that by doing something productive, like cooking or baking, there’s less time for dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings. Being in the kitchen helps you stay focused on the moment, because you have to be mindful while cooking. And it can be a creative outlet as well, coming up with new flavors and textures can be therapeutic. Onenew studyfinds that people who take on small creative projects like baking or cooking feel more relaxed and happier in their daily lives. So maybe try baking cookies when you need a pick-me-up, if the act of making them doesn’t help, the act of eating them might.