Many people suffer from anxiety of one or the other type, from young adults to middle-aged people. For instance, there was a sudden jump of 26 percent in cases of anxiety and depression in 2021.
People show anxiety signs in different scenarios like school, job, social activities, and even chores like cooking, wherein people cannot cook, make mistakes, and have jitters before cooking. This form of stress is called cooking anxiety.
If you want to know about the common causes of anxiety in the kitchen, its symptoms, and tips to manage them, here is a guide.
What Causes Cooking Anxiety?
Being nervous in the kitchen is one of the reasons that causes anxiety in most people. But, there can be other reasons as well, such as:
- Underlying Anxiety And OCD: Those who suffer from OCD or anxiety disorders tend to get more nervous while cooking. Their nervousness and continuous worrying behavior make it difficult to concentrate in the kitchen.
- Previous Experience: If you underwent any bad experiences in the kitchen, it is common to feel anxious to step into the same space.
- Fear Of Serving Bad Food:If you are a perfectionist, having the constant fear of not making the perfect dish can be stressful. It can trigger such anxiety, as you may think that you are incapable of pulling a recipe well.
- Fear Of Accidents: Kitchen accidents are common, as most people have burned or cut themselves in the kitchen more than once. But, for those fearing accidents, the kitchen can seem like a dangerous place. It can trigger anxiety in many.
- Judgments: If you already suffer from anxiety, getting judged by others is one of your major worries. You may feel nervous and anxious about cooking and serving something to others in such a case. The constant feeling of being judged can make you less enthusiastic about cooking.
- Falling Sick: Finally, cooking anxiety may come hand in hand if someone suffers from health anxiety or constant worry about falling sick. It is common to feel anxious and constantly fear falling sick of raw or lousy cooking.
What Are The Signs Of Anxiety In The Kitchen?
When it comes to cooking, not many people are comfortable with the entire idea. It is usually due to a lack of knowledge, experience, and practice. However, many people suffer from anxiety when they have to cook.
Usually, the signs are quite visible as they fight their nervousness. Some common symptoms are:
- Avoiding kitchen and any chance of cooking
- Forgetting the recipes and ingredients
- Taking too much time in the kitchen
- Making mistakes in the kitchen
- Getting hurt (cuts and burns) while cooking
- Being unable to decide what to cook
- Nervousness and excessive sweating
- Digestive discomfort
What Are The Ways To Manage It?
If you feel anxious and scared, it is better to start slow and small. It will give you enough time to get habituated with the cooking process. Later, you can add to your cooking repertoire and start your journey to overcome your anxiety and fear.
Here are some points that will help overcome your cooking anxiety.
- Get Familiar With Equipment: At the beginning of your journey to overcome anxiety in the kitchen, give yourself some time to get familiar. Learn about various ingredients, cooking techniques, and tools.
- Use Semi Prepared Meals: Start by using semi-prepared meals and ingredients. This trick will not only reduce cooking time but will also give less space for mistakes. Making fewer mistakes will help boost confidence for the next time.
- Read And Write: Keep a journal where you can write recipes, ingredients, and plans for cooking. This will help you have a clear idea of what to buy and the process.
- Use Easy and Tried Recipes: Check out recipes tried and tested over time. Use recipes with simple and easy to acquire ingredients and processes. Do not overcomplicate in the beginning.
- Have A Clear Expectation: Lastly, you should have a clear expectation from your food. Do not expect to be perfect on the first try. Give yourself credit for what you have created, and try again next time.
Having better preparation and planning can help overcome your fear of cooking. It is better to start slow and make easy recipes that have less scope of going awry.