CookingAs a Form of Therapy
CookingAs a Form of Therapy
Althoughcooking is mostly considered as a normal day-to-day activity, it canfunction as a form of therapy for a diverse for a different group ofpeople. While there are people who find cooking as a troublingexercise, there are a large number of cooks who have identified thecapacity of cooking to relieve stress. This is because while stressnumb human senses, cooking has the capacity to activate these senses.Therefore, cooking is a sensory experience that is associated withtaste, aroma, touch, sizzling sound, and visual delight. However, theexploitation of the therapeutic potential of cooking depends on theperception of individual cooks where those who see it as fun insteadof a chore attain psychological benefits associated with cooking.
Psychologistsclassify cooking as one of the most effective behavioral activationtherapies that can resolve psychological health challenges. Italleviates psychological stress and depression by curbingprocrastination and enhancing goal oriented behavior. Cookingactivates positive behavior by refocusing individuals in valueddirections and goals in life which reduces chances for them toconcentrate on negative behavior and thinking that results indepression. In addition, people who engage in the cooking activityfeel accomplished and rewarded, especially when they are able toshare their cooking skills and the food they cook with other people.Sharing food and cooking ideas with others makes the cook and thosewho take a share of food feel good, which means that cooking is ameans of nurturing and enhancing the well-being of others.
Normalizedexperiences and social interactions play a critical role in enhancingthe quality of life by offering people with opportunities to attainthe sense of purpose, happiness, and the state of well-being. Theseexperiences and social interactions are achieved by integratingcooking programs as part of recreational programs. Engaging people incooking activities during recreation enhances psychologicalfunctions, relieves stress, facilitate the change of behavior, andreduce depression. The therapeutic approach that involves cooking aspart of the recreation is most effective among older adults sufferingfrom disturbing behavior and dementia and living in the residentialsettings. These programs function by addressing the limitations (suchas the lack of adapted programs, mobility, and functionalimpairments) that are associated with residential settings.
Peoplewith mental and psychological challenges (including older adults) whoare held in different facilities (such as homes for the elderly) havelimited opportunities to enjoy homemade food. Organizing cookingprograms give them an experience of a home setting, which speeds upthe process of recovery. This is because cooking programs increaseappetite, calm, and entice people. Moreover, the cooking programsprovide sensory stimulation with tastes, texture, and smell.Preparing food and eating it among the most social activities ofdaily living that people suffering from mental challenges require inlife.
Inconclusion, the acts of cooking and sharing food have a powerfulmeaning in the field of psychotherapy. Food defines family history,culture, and practices that enhance the sense of socialization amongpeople with psychological challenges. The effectiveness of cooking asa therapeutic approach is based on the facts that the act of cookingsignifies the sense of image, basic worth, and role identify.Moreover, cooking is associated with the feelings of pleasure, love,and enjoyment, all of which play a critical role in enhancing thepsychological well-being of individuals. Therefore, cooking is andvaluable therapeutic approach, but its effectiveness depends on theperception of the cooks and the value they attach to the act ofcooking.