How cooking can be more than just food?

How cooking can be more than just food?

If you all could recollect back those initial days of lockdown!? We all found our escapes in the kitchen. Social media- Facebook, What’s App, Instagram were full of culinary posts. This is certainly a time when many new food blogs and vlogs emerged. We tried to push ourselves into something which could get us back our essence. Take some time to question yourselves now!

Were we keen on it? Or was that an unconscious reflex? Certainly, we were drawn towards the utmost urge to save our contentment.

Well, cooking has many psychological benefits and “cooking is about emotion, it’s about culture, it’s about love, it’s about memory”, said a wonderful Italian Chef Massimo Bottura. Who in his words has crowned cooking with ingredients of psychology. Congruously cooking is an art, not everyone could master, but blessed are those who create magic on their platter. Cooking is certainly rewarding so do the psychological benefits concealed within it.

Cooking turned out to be one of the top therapeutic techniques introduced by the Behaviorists these days. Culinary therapy or cooking for healing is something that has occupied its status in a therapeutic frame along with art therapy, dance, music, and many more which proved to improve human emotions and well-being. Cooking soothes your soul and enriches your being and makes you relax. Linda Warmer Andrews health and psychology writer has mentioned in one of her posts on Psychology Today where she quotes “Cooking is meditation with a promise of good meal afterward.”  Undoubtedly that’s the fact cooking is something that rewards you at the earliest. It isn’t like exercise which makes you wait for the result for certain days or months all together to be manifested physically. Whereas cooking gets you your result as soon as you finish with the procedure. All it requires is your consistency and sustained interest to try out again in case you fail with your recipe at first try.

Personally being a fan of cooking I have experienced enormous benefits of those little time spent in the kitchen dedicated to accomplishing my sweet delights brought great deal of joy to me. Let’s begin the journey to understand the moments of those little accomplishments in the realm of psychology.

Whenever I felt low, when I couldn’t find a good tonic for my swirling mood I always found my escape in my kitchen. Life gets its energy from food and definitely cooking makes you feel alive. Cooking makes you feel that you are in the present you are here and now. Cooking pulls you back to life. The touch of nature which must have lost its existence somewhere in your busy schedule. Especially for those whose life is being revolved around too much of activity where they have reached a stage to act out like a machine which is programmed by binary code. It would be a good try out for people with life like this. Somewhere it also acts as a therapy to a therapist who is back home drained of emotional energy with the obligation to get back to work the next day with a spirit of joy. Whenever you are in love with the procedure of cooking the end results are cherished with the spirit.

Even when we just try to focus on the initial developments of cooking say fetching a recipe which is easy on our hands, gathering groceries to set on your cooktop, and to get started everything involves a lot of psychological processes in it. It makes sure you give your best in every little element that you are doing in the kitchen. Touch of color-Doesn’t this sound like the therapy underling a therapy?  we are very well aware of the fact that colors do play a major role in our mood. And the kitchen is definitely a colorful laboratory set for experiments with flavors, colors, textures, consistency, and emotions being aroused out of it. The appetizing red, happiness in yellow, natural green, energizing orange. Color embedded in the form of veggies, spices will definitely lift our mood up.  Food that can make us a being has all power to get our psychology right.

Nurturing yourself with good food: When you cook on your own with all the efforts, dedication, aspiration, and of course with love it blooms out as a delicacy; certainly why not? You will add on to your healthy eating and are assured of good health as well; however, happiness is for free. There is a well-known proverb that says you are what you eat. Too much of spice might add on to your mood of anger and sweet might calm you down with joy and many more theories of this kind gives us an understanding how and in what way we have to direct our diet to have a balanced living; both in terms of health and emotions – complete traditional Indian meal would take away all the credits I believe. Well a portion of food for your thought, it teaches you how important it is to give your hundred percent to whatever you are doing right away. It requires your very attention this is how this has proved to be successful among clients who suffer from ADHD. This also holds good for those suffering from depression who crave for some accomplishment, some consideration and reward from life. Same time good food boosts the requirement of healthy nutrients which again helps in fighting ailments.

This was about the cleansing it does from within. This is something that is rewarding to oneself. Similarly, there are some other benefits that affect our positive mood which boosts it up and works like a catalyst to groom our personality.

Cooking brings in a sense of accomplishment: You gain a sense of fulfillment at the end of your cooking. It makes you feel that the right amount of ingredients at its best blend would emerge as a wonderful recipe of all times. The same way this gives a message to your inner core making you aware of the strength within. The strength that keeps you going, the one which gives you all courage to stand by the odds of life. We never analyzed our thought process in this direction so far. But then it’s a BIG YES, it certainly does. That’s what we reassure to our clients everything is in your mind and set it right and take it into your charge it shall work out for you more beautifully than what you have thought of. These are the little success you experience when you indulge yourself completely into the thing at its best. Tunes of those roasted spices are on their full swing to tell you, life is beautiful at its power - acknowledge, accept and surrender at each minute turn that it takes; those humps will lead you to the beautiful destination.

Triggers your creative side: It definitely triggers your creativity when you borrow some essence of one recipe and then add a twist to it make sure it blends well with the spice of your choice from some other delight straight away in balance; you have your signature dish ready to be served. Creativity grooms your personality; it brings out the best in you. Gives you the courage to see the world from a different frame of reference- something new, something very unique and unusual; at times that might seem a little weird as well. That’s what makes you different. That’s makes you what you are. I would say groom your personality such that you become irresistible, dynamic, and consistent like a delicacy. Either your recipes add spice to your personality or your personality brings soul to your dish. Either way, out you are complimenting each other at your best.

Binds a strong tie: Cooking is love made visible. You cook your food with all your heart and soul and it gets reflected with a beautiful curve on the face of those who were fortunate enough to be in your good books. Have you ever noticed this? You long to dine with only those who are very dear to you? And we take the burned to cook for those who are worth the efforts. A good amount of fun and laughter adds healthy years to your life. What’s more precious than being blessed with good days with your loved ones?

Cooking makes you organized: Maybe this is the secret behind every mom’s perfection. They do it with ease, not even a single ufff. Not just cooking but everything!!! They manage it so well that we struggle with. Found yourself in distress? Build conservation with your mom when she is busy preparing your favorite recipe. Notice that smile, break the silence define the abstract surely you would find an answer in the kitchen. Very poetical hahahaha!!!( laughter)

Take some time to halt the clock, let’s pause for a moment, give an escape from the demanding world choose to cook. Pay attention to every tune that it sings let yourself melt to the aroma which we never mind to our notice. Color and crunch of veggies, strong flavor of spice, binding of the flour every little thing of the kitchen has a lesson to teach, guidelines to stand by. Focus, re-frame, involve yourself certainly that will keep you intact. Life serves you with ingredients you cook your recipe. The recipe has no soul. you bring soul to the recipe; garnish your life delicacy with the color of your soul, make your life soulful.

 

About the Author

Mridula Kulkarni
Psychologist and Assistant Professor.

I am a Post Graduate in Psychology (MSc Psychology) from Bangalore University. I have my share of experience in Rehab

Leave a Reply

3 Comments

  • Very well written Mridula and so very true 👍

  • Hi Mridula. You've outdone yourself this time. What a Fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information. Your exuberance is refreshing. I loved this article. I didn't realize, even cooking also can be this much fun & interesting to read. Good job. Thumbs up!

  • Hi Mridula. You've outdone yourself this time. What a Fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information. Your exuberance is refreshing. I loved this article. I didn't realize, even cooking also can be this much fun & interesting to read. Good job. Thumbs up!

Related Posts