Exploring Happiness through the Lens of Positive Psychology

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Abstract

In today’s fast-paced society, with a demanding materialistic life, individuals are affected by psychosocial distress and a great hunger for well-being and happiness. As a result of stressful events, the rise of social media, and disconnection from traditions, humans are moving toward a more pessimistic life outlook, as evidenced in the exorbitant increase of suicide attempts. To cultivate a more optimistic attitude toward life, people resort to creative activities like music, dance, reading, gaming, etc. Very few defer to cooking as a creative activity to relieve daily stress and improve psychological well-being. Rooted in the evolutionary experience of humans, cooking is a versatile and engaging activity that requires skills and challenges to create flavorful dishes. Through the theoretical conceptualization of subjective well-being, this study seeks to show how the process of cooking can transform people’s attitudes. Cooking is unquestionably an art form that demands meticulous attention. While cooking, the individual performing the task achieves a state of flow, resulting in an optimal experience by absorbing themselves in that task. This study adopts a detailed understanding of Amulya Malladi’s Serving Crazy with Curry by portraying the act of cooking as an activity for well-being, happiness, personal growth, and optimal experience. Through the perspective of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, this paper highlights cooking as an engaging activity that results in satisfaction, meaning and purpose, optimism, and self-determination.