A warm kitchen filled with delicious aromas might be an effective new way to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
The Wall Street Journal reports that practicing culinary arts is particularly effective alongside other treatments like talk therapy or medication. Cooking can relieve stress, build self-esteem and decrease negative thoughts. When following and executing a recipe, the mind's attention shifts towards the positive.
From the WSJ:
A Bethlehem, Conn., treatment center for teens uses cooking lessons to help treat mental illness and addiction. The head chef at the clinic, Newport Academy, runs the courses, teaching teens how to make healthier versions of their favorite foods, such as burgers or macaroni and cheese. The chef, Patricia D'Alessio, demonstrates techniques for tasks like chopping vegetables or making meat patties and has the teens follow along with their own ingredients.
The two-hour classes "got them to focus on something other than stressful emotions, or what was going on in their day," Ms. D'Alessio says. "It redirects their thought process to focus them on the process of cooking."
Need some inspiration to get into the kitchen? Check out best holiday baking & dessert recipes from The Food Network. The delish pictures alone might get you to smile and put on an apron.