One of the goals of meditation is to achieve mindfulness, where we are able to let go of negative thoughts, stressors, or worries from the day and focus on a mantra or the present moment. Mindfulness can help reduce stress or anxiety, reduce impulses to react emotionally, and help bolster your cognitive functions.
Mindfulness is typically thought of in relation to meditation and yoga, but it doesn’t have to be limited to these practices. In fact, you can get equal benefits from approaching simple everyday tasks in a mindful state. One of these is the cooking process.
Mindfulness is more about simply being present when you cook, fully engaged with the food and your relationship to it, from the earth it was grown into the table. It’s being aware of the food with all your senses, and of how you transform it with your hands, knives, herbs, and heat—making it taste alive, nourishing yourself and those who eat your meals.
Your awareness can be in bringing the activity alive and giving it some energy, vitality, and exuberance. Zen priest Edward Espe Brown
What so many of us view as a chore or responsibility can, in turn, be therapeutic. From listening to sizzling butter on a hot pan to approaching and following a new creative recipe, there are so many benefits to embracing the cooking process.