Tasting delicious food works on the reward centres of the brain so we get instant gratification too- a feel-good hit. Any cookery school worth their salt, will teach you about provenance and sustainability – or where your food comes from, so you engage in a more holistic way with food. A cookery course also teaches you skills, which is a confidence boost.
The University of Berkeley, California when looking at ways in which people use money to make them happy, discovered that people very quickly get used to object or things, so buying ‘stuff’ does not necessarily bring us lasting happiness. However looking back on ‘experiences’ we have spent money on does. So rather than buy a box of chocolates for someone, buy them a cookery course learning how to make chocolate to maximise on the happiness boosting brownie points!
But the key aspect in the happiness- enhancing qualities of cookery courses is we can also take the skills we learn to cook for friends and family, increasing our connectedness which is one of the most important markers for long-term happiness. These are skills which stay with you and can be built on, not just a flash in the pan like a one-off paragliding lesson for example.
Engaging in ‘pro-social’ behaviour such as giving to others or being in the service of others is another happiness-boosting activity, which gets met when you cook for people, you sit and share a meal and the appreciative ‘Mmmmmm’ wafts around the table.
Leading happiness expert and Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Barbara Fredrickson argues that connecting with others in a positive way has such a beneficial effect on our cardio vascular system and reduces inflammation that actively seeking out opportunities to connect with others should be one of our five a day. In a cookery course you can learn how to cook healthy delicious food and also the mere act of doing this with others is giving your system a work out!