“Chocolate cream pie! You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when NOTHING is sure and when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
You may recognize that quote from the movie, Julie and Julia. In case you haven’t seen the film, it’s a movie about a young woman, frustrated by her position in life, who makes it her mission to cook through Julia Child’s famous cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. It’s a heartwarming movie that has plenty of laughs, but there is validity in the main character’s recipe for stress relief. Cooking does reduce stress.
Cooking provides a sensory stimulation that “wakes up” senses that have been suppressed by stress, allowing you to feel more creative. The physical act of cooking can also help to temporarily distract from worry and anxiety, allowing you to have a mental rest. And finally, cooking is a way of nurturing others, which will increase social involvement and help you to bring joy to others.
The next time you’re feeling stressed, don’t reach for the takeout menus. Instead, dust off your favorite cookbook and find a new recipe to whip up! Don’t forget to bring some goodies by to your favorite therapist.
 Black, Rosemary. “Cooking is Therapy: Making Meals Helps to Reduce Stress, Heal a Broken Heart, Among Other Benefits.” Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/cooking-therapy-making-meals-helps-reduce-stress-heal-broken-heart-benefits-article-1.206839 on November 3, 2013.