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Cooking for Relaxation

by BetterSleep
Jul 13 • 4 min read
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Cooking can be a great form of relaxation if you take the time to be present and enjoy the experience. But for many, it’s a chore when you hurriedly throw some bread in the toaster while getting the kids ready for school.

Or absentmindedly stir pepper into a soup while your mind is reeling from the argument you had earlier that day.

Without realizing it, many of the tasks we do each day get done on autopilot, from brushing our teeth to putting clothes on to sipping on a cup of tea in the morning.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Cooking is an ideal opportunity to become present and practice mindfulness.

Whether you’re stirring, chopping, marinating, kneading, or drizzling, this is a great time to focus, tune in the senses, and notice the delicious smells wafting around you.

How to Practice Cooking for Relaxation?

When you associate cooking with relaxation rather than another job, your body will start to wind down. Set aside time to prepare your meal, prepare a recipe, and put some calming music on.

Start to focus on every step of the process. It might be chopping carrots, adding spices to a sauce, or bringing vegetables to a boil. Stay mindful of all that’s going on, as you would during meditation.

When you’re mindful of how you cook and what ingredients you use, the food you produce will be healthy and nourishing. And when others taste your creations, they’ll undoubtedly notice the extra care and attention that has gone into the meal.

Best Herbs to Use for Relaxation and Stress

Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling under pressure. In modern life, stress can affect us due to work, hectic home life, or when we’re studying for an exam.

Instead of reaching for medication, many natural remedies like herbs relax you. Use them in meal recipes, salad toppings, or herbal teas. The best calming herbs include:

Chamomile

Known for its relaxation benefits, chamomile can be enjoyed as a herbal tea or infusion.

Lavender

For hundreds of years, to fight stress, lavender is great for desserts, baking, herbal teas, and hot baths.

Peppermint

This herb is extremely versatile and can be used in tea, on desserts, and to add flavor to meals.

Lemon balm

With a delicious lemon scent, this herb has natural healing properties and is known to relieve stress. Add it to a green salad or infuse it in hot water for a fresh, sleep-inducing bedtime drink.

There are many herbs and foods that encourage restful sleep, relaxation, and stress relief. Incorporate these into mindful cooking practices, alongside guided meditation, with the BetterSleep app to improve your well-being inside and out.

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