Cooking Up The Sweet Life To Relieve Stress

In a pressure-cooker environment, life isn’t always a picnic. Yet, if you take a leaf out of the famous cookbook The Joy of Cooking, stress relief is as easy as (eating or baking) pie. Granted, not everyone can afford to live stress-free and have the luxury of throwing caution to the wind.

Crammed with empty bucket lists and unsuccessful work calls, it can be a hurdled rat race with a blurry finishing line. While it’s easy to get brain-fogged, it’s hard to escape incessant thoughts about bubbling deadlines and what’s left on the to-do list.

Little daughters with mother throwing flour and discovering the joy of cooking
Making life easy and delicious is a good motto to live by.
Image by: Daniela Lupasco on Freepik

Brain Bolt: Unlocking The Stress Cycle

Without a doubt, everyone’s brain is hard-wired differently. We each have our own defence mechanism to better protect ourselves from full awareness of unpleasantness. When stress persists, it creates a negative feedback loop with each condition making the other worse. From the grief of a broken heart to an overloaded nervous system, stress-induced anxiety can bring on a slew of debilitating problems.

Woman in bed feeling immobilised by the lack of stress relief
The struggle is real. If left untreated, wallowing in stress can cause a temporary brainlock.
Image by: jcomp on Freepik

Cooking Up Stress Relief: Recipe For Happier Living

Of course, life’s satisfaction varies widely among individuals, but one type of happiness we’re all familiar with is good food. Providing essential nutrition, it can bring ultimate happiness in overcoming cravings of all forms. Undoubtedly, an effective remedy for blowing off steam, while delivering a little more mindfulness into your life.

The calming sight of homemade buns give cooking a sense of meditation
The remedy for melting stress and anxiety away could very well be in your kitchen pantry.
Image by: Brownie Points by Ivy

The first recipe for happiness: Avoid too lengthy meditation on the past. 

ANDRÉ MAROIS, FRENCH AUTHOR

Personally, when it’s operation slice and dice, cooking gives me more than just peace-of-mind. The more upset I am, the bigger the dish to pull me out of it. Needless to say, a not-so-great day at work would pretty much summon up a banquet at home.

Kitchen Therapy And Other Healing Benefits Of Cooking

Ladies reaping the benefits of kitchen therapy while preparing cake batter
Baking is a great way to connect with the present moment while you whip your worries away.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

While you can’t always avoid stress, you can find ways to relieve stress and arouse the senses supressed by stress. Not unlike meditation, cooking, or baking, is a repetitive tactile process commanding your full attention. The powerful therapeutic effect of touch calms the central nervous system and eases tension. Mix in a sensorial stimulation of texture, smell and taste – et, voila – a mingled experience of flavour sensation, chez toi!

Girl holding torch over her freshly baked meringue
Developing good focus, muscle skills and eye-hand coordination is a great tool to build confidence in life.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

Five Reasons Why You Should Start Cooking The Cure

There’s more to cooking than the sense of relief, knowing what exactly went into what’s on your plate. Here are a few benefits of cooking that can help you become better, in and out of the kitchen:

1. Essense Of Time

Time management such as speed and efficiency are among the most important skills for those looking to deliver great work. How we interact with time plays a big role in how we’re able to stay in the present and cope with stress. When cooking, it could mean a world of difference between that perfect golden crisp and a kitchen catastrophe.

Slicing carrots and prepping other various ingredients prior to cooking
Setting out all your ingredients mise en place allows the cooking project to unfold smoothly.
Image by: pressfoto on Freepik

2. Stir Of Creativity

The learning experiences in the kitchen are technically revision lessons in both science and art. Applying the physics of heating and cooling to get the desired outcome, it’s a constant experimentation that also taps into the beauty of art. You might even come up with your best ideas for work while exercising your creativity, when you’re most relaxed. There’s definitely a zen to it.

And while stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them. It’s a sensory experience with aroma, taste, touch, visual delight and even sizzling sound.

– Mandel (2010), addicted to stress, jossey-bass
Cooking as an experiment of creativity and visual delight using gluten-free delicacies
By adding twists to recipes using your favourite ingredients, you can take pleasure in the piece of art you created.
Image by: Brownie Points by Ivy

3. Taste Of Sanity

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t show your skills once you’ve mastered the art of cooking. Where there’s an element of actually feeding someone, cooking can have very positive psychological benefits. Subsequently, the feelings of validation for the dish you prepared can reduce negative thinking and build confidence naturally.

After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relative. 

Oscar Wilde, IRISH POET
Little boy having fun with cupcake batter in baking classes
A mere spoonful of delight can lift and soothe stress away.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

4. Pinch Of Clarity

In this optimise-everything world, multi-tasking has become the new normal. It can be hard to stay in the present as we throw ourselves from one commitment to another. Focusing in the moment, cooking shifts attention from less than pleasant aspects of life so you can clearly see a project to the end. Even though momentary, getting immersed in the experience is a sure-fire way to avoid brain fog or feeling burned out.

Little girl and the ladies playing with dough
You could almost see stress melt away as bake class participants focus on transforming plain dough into glazed bites of happiness.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

5. Spark Of Romance

The smell of something from the kitchen often triggers a sense of warmth. Fattening or not, cooking comforts the mind, relaxes the body and is more than just chicken soup for the soul. In fact, the honest involvement and intense manual work can be likened to “having a bun in the oven”. It’s a way to feel better about life by creating something new and wonderful, with immediate gratification and minus the labour pain. The only thing left now is find someone who can clean up and help with doing the dishes.

half bitten heart-shaped cookie
Take a bite out of life and fall in love with your own irresistable creations.
Image by: Brownie Points by Ivy

The Scoop On Beating The Blues And Baking It Better

For those who aren’t kitchen savvy – or with no access to one – cooking classes can add a dash of happiness in life. Located near Setia City Mall, the family-friendly DIY Bites Studio is a perfect place to melt butter, and stress away.

Happy faces after making soft rolls and cream filled buns at the Master Baker cooking class
Happiness and the smell of fresh bakes in the air at the DIY Bites Studio Soft Buns Masterclass.
Image by:
Brownie Points by Ivy

Knowing full well the rewards of good eating, DIY Bites Studio is dedicated in supporting chefs of all ages level up. Their highly experienced chef instructors are ready to roll up their sleeves so your cooking endeavours get the desired result. From gluten-free, fusion to everything delightful in between, you can brush up on basics or master recipes for healthier living.

Cooking made even more fun with naturally coloured pasta
Tricolour raviolis, anyone? Kids exercising their creativity over the school holidays using natural food powders.
Image by: Brownie Points by Ivy

If you’re looking for good food on the fly, eating out at a mamak stall could be the solution. But if you’re looking for a more rewarding culinary adventure, head to the kitchen.

Hand takes a slice of multi-coloured layered crepe cake
The next time life throws you a curve ball and you feel like softening the edge, make something delicious, like a colourful layered crepe cake.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

Visit DIY Bites Studio or Brownie Points by Ivy for full schedule fees and to see what the chefs have up their culinary sleeves. Sign up for classes today and you might just save yourself from more than just stress!

DIY Bites Spark Joy!
Spreading happiness from the kitchen, one delicious bite at a time.
Image by: DIY Bites Studio

Zainiffer ZAINAL

About Zainiffer ZAINAL

Veteran of the broadcast industry, Zainiffer is an experienced copywriter, content strategist, content creator, scriptwriter, editor, interviewer, and everything else in between. One of the very few who dare to guide clients to ask the right questions to the often already obvious answers.

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