In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often find ourselves too overwhelmed by our to-do lists to prepare home-cooked meals from scratch. As such, we turn to delivery services, pre-made meal boxes, and frozen foods for the sake of convenience. In doing so, however, it is possible we are missing out on an excellent method of relieving some of the stress we accrue every day.
Although cooking takes quite a bit of preparation, time, and inevitable cleaning, the act itself encourages creativity and reignites the senses that stress often dulls. Furthermore, enjoying a home-cooked meal also enables us to reconnect with our bodies, as we are more aware of the ingredients we are consuming and using for nourishment.
If you are interested in discovering the benefits of cooking at home, especially as it relates to alleviating stress, be sure to continue reading Julie Rufo’s perspective below!
When we share a meal with those around us, we are indulging in a common interest, as everyone enjoys food in one way or another. By preparing one or more meals for our loved ones, we not only get to showcase our skills in the kitchen, but we can also feel satisfied in knowing that we are providing for the people we care about the most.
As mentioned previously, stress tends to dull the senses and reroute our thoughts. Cooking, on the other hand, requires our full attention and the help of our senses — aroma, sight, sound, touch, and taste — from start to finish. Therefore, following a recipe can help block out stressful thoughts, if only for a little while, and enable us to shift our focus to the task at hand. By maintaining this state of active, open attention, we are also able to practice our mindfulness in situations others may deem as mundane — a skill that proves to be valuable at home and work.
Along with improving your state of mind, those who cook at home also have the opportunity to make healthier choices on a daily basis. Research shows that those who dine out frequently consume upwards of 20 percent more sodium than those who choose to prepare meals at home. By controlling our sodium intake, we avoid unnecessary health risks such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke — and the thought of avoiding those ailments alone can be enough to reduce health-related stress.
Although it may seem intimidating at first, even the most inexperienced individuals can get creative in the kitchen — all it requires is a little practice. This can be achieved by following simple recipes at first, then slowly branching out and experimenting with different textures, flavors, and cooking techniques. The finished product will not always be perfect, but that is the beauty of cooking: it enables you to try something new, all while leaving just enough room to make, repair, and learn from mistakes.
Cooking may not be for everyone, but, as showcased by the points above, it does offer a number of benefits to those who are willing to try. Should you be interested in learning more about Julie Rufo and her appreciation for the culinary arts, travel, and freelance photography, be sure to visit her website.