What are you making for dinner? The answer to this question is not always easy. In our busy lives, cooking can sometimes feel like a chore. Maybe you are tired, short on time, or have had the same dish every week and need new inspiration. Nevertheless, we all know that cooking meals yourself not only saves money but also tends to produce healthier meals as opposed to ordering out. You don’t need to be an expert chef to reap the benefits of cooking. As it turns out, cooking is also great for your mental health as well. If you are in need of some inspiration to fit more homemade meals into your week, here are just a few of the many psychological benefits you’ll receive from cooking.

It relieves stress.

After a long day standing in the kitchen may be the last thing you want to do. However, before making a beeline for the couch, consider making a meal to clear your head. Cooking can be a great way to reduce stress because it allows you to be creative with recipes and focus your energy on the task at hand. It can be quite peaceful at times if you focus on mindful cooking. Mindful cooking is a great way to slow down, pay attention to your surroundings, and be aware of each step you take to make your meal.

It brings people together.

Food makes a lot of people happy. Providing people with food makes you happy. It’s a win-win. Cooking for others is a form of altruism. It allows us to feel connected with those we are feeding. Many social gatherings are surrounded by food, a simple way to bring together people and conversations. Bonding over a home cooked meal is also a great way to spend time with your family. While most of our life seems to be led on the go, there are many benefits of sitting together at the dinner table with family.

It is rewarding.

There can certainly be many fails in the kitchen. Whether you nail a new recipe on the first try, or if it takes a few attempts of trial and error, cooking is rewarding. Starting from scratch and watching a few ingredients turn into something delicious is satisfying. It gives us meaning to the process and the actions that led you to the final plate and rewards you with something delicious to share. Not only does completing a meal boost your confidence, but sharing with others and receiving compliments will surely help as well.