28 Aug

Making Pasta: Are there psychological benefits?

Team Pasta Making Night:  3 beneficial outcomes in one:

  • Team Bonding
  • Learning a new skill
  • Meaningful Use of Our Hands

At Added Insight we aim to get together once a month for a bit of fun and team building, whether it be a small game of The Amazing Race, a BBQ or enjoying a lunch out at one of our local cafes.

Last week we enjoyed a pasta making class at our manager's home with pasta making afficiando Patty Jovel. Patty spent 3 months living with a traditional Italian family learning how to cook everything from gnocchi, to pasta, to pizza “ the Italian way! Luckily for us, Patty took us under her wing and taught us how to make pasta from scratch. As you can see by some of the teams expressions in the photos, there were a few hiccups along the way although Patty reassured us that making pasta is a very 'forgiving' process and we got there in the end!

During our pasta evening we discussed the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction experienced by creating something ourselves. Naturally as psychologists, we had to look in to the research around this. We found that neurologists and psychologists have gone on to prove this observation that meaningful use of our hands boosts mood and reduces anxiety. Gretchen Rubin, author of ˜The Happiness Project, suggests you think back to what you used to enjoy doing when you were younger, as these are likely to be things that you would enjoy doing today, but perhaps don't think about or make the time for. For some people this might be building model airplanes, playing with Lego, house work (yes, house work!), cooking/baking or scrapbooking.

In today's world, everything we need is often provided to us in a form that is ready to use and convenient as so many people are time poor, which means we rarely need to make something or put in considerable effort to gain it. A lot of research emerging about well-being is encouraging us to go back to basics and adopt practices that our ancestors were using, something to ponder!

FYI Candle making is earmarked as our next team activity!

If you are looking for a new team building activity or fun new cooking style to try, we highly recommend the fabulous Patty Jovel! You can contact her at pjovel@gmail.com.

Photos by Mike Mackinven.

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