Modern Australian

5 Ways Cooking Can Be a Different Way of Relaxation

  • Written by Chloe Taylor

You’ve tried running, you’ve tried lifting weights, you’ve tried everything possible, and you’re still feeling stressed out. Don’t worry; many people know exactly how you feel. We all live very stressful lives, and we all have to find that perfect way of relaxing our bodies, mind, and soul.

There’s a big chance that you did not try cooking as a way of relaxation. That’s right — cooking. Cooking is usually a mere necessity for most of us, but it can be so much more. Why? Let’s take a look.

Eating homemade food can do wonders for your health

People who eat in their own home have much healthier diets, and that’s a fact. When you’re eating outside you’re basically stuffing your belly with highly-processed foods, and like it or not; they affect your health. With an increased take of sugar, sodium, and calories you have a much higher risk of getting ill, and you increase the chance of becoming obese.

When you cook in your home, you decide what goes in your meal. That means that you decide how much sugar, salt, and other ingredients will end up on your table and in your stomach. By cooking at home, you can relax just because you know what ingredients you’re consuming.

Bonus fact: Families that dine together are much happier, and create stronger bonds. So fire up that stove, cook something for your family, and relax with them. Share your problems and your accomplishments with those who you love, and you’ll be less stressed out in the long run.

Smelling the food that’s cooking can be a quite meditative experience

Right, not everyone has a family; some people live alone in their apartments or houses. But that does not mean that they should avoid cooking. As a matter of fact, cooking is fun if it is done right. You can treat cooking as a form of meditation practice. Therefore, next time you enter the kitchen, be sure to leave all your problems behind the kitchen door.

Start small — put vegetables in a pot and let them boil. But, this time, don’t leave the kitchen. Stay there and let those magnificent smells take you to some other place. Maybe your father’s farm or your aunt’s kitchen in the country? Carefully add some spices and feel the stress melting away like a piece of butter in a pan. Let your sense of smell take you to unimaginable places.

Feel free to experiment with various international cuisines

Eating the familiar food has a unique comfort, however, if you’re looking to expand your horizons, feel free to try out different recipes from all over the globe. Still, don’t focus on complicated food that needs exotic ingredients that are difficult to find in your area. Instead, you can prepare meals that require locally sourced ingredients, or at least those that you can easily find in your local supermarket. Now, depending on your tastes, you can try different food, but for some real fun, feel free to check out classic Chinese dishes list because if you love eating with chopsticks, chances are that you’re already familiar with many of them. If you're an inexperienced cook, then ask a trusted friend or a family member to help you prepare new and interesting dishes.

For some extra motivation, be sure to set the mood by renewing your kitchen

If cooking slowly and carefully is not for you, then you might consider changing your kitchen completely. Some people enjoy cooking only when their kitchen is perfectly set up. So, instead of ordering food once again, try remodelling your kitchen.

Put up some new cabinets, put the spice jars right where you want them to be, throw out your old oven and replace it with one of those inexpensive single electric ovens, and start doing your thing.

If music is what gets you going, then don’t forget to turn on the radio and blast those speakers. It’s your kitchen, and that means your rules apply. Don’t cook like your mom did just because she did it that way. Find a way that relaxes you and start cutting, baking, and boiling.

Cooking in a room that helps you feel amazing can be equally relaxing as spending some time with your significant other.

To avoid confusion and frustration, make a proper cooking plan

Planning your meals in advance can also help you relax, especially after a long day at work. Knowing what and how we will prepare when we get home offers us a sense of security. Because of that, make a menu plan, and save both time and your nerves.

Of course, sometimes prepare some extra meals. You never know what might happen, so having a meal in your fridge that just needs to be microwaved in case of emergency is recommended.

In the end, only you know what makes you feel relaxed. If one way of cooking doesn’t work for you — feel free to change it. Experiment with different cooking styles and see where they take you.

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