For the last 6 months I have been studying positive psychology, and I now feel confident to say that Pancakes are in deed positive psychology in action.
Just think about it. Actually – just think about pancakes! Are you smiling a little? Feeling good?
My point! And let me elaborate.
The father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, defines well-being as a construct with five measurable elements (PERMA) that count toward it:
Meaning and purpose
You get ALL these elements, when you bake pancakes for someone.
Just thinking about pancakes made you smile! Pancakes are comfort food, we make them because we feel good, and because it makes us feel good to eat them. The anticipation when we bake them is a positive emotion – and not only do we look forward to eating the pancakes, we enjoy the thought of sharing them, the thought of making someone else feel good, when we serve them these round cakes of happiness.
Engagement is really about flow. It is a present moment, where we are challenged and our abilities are just enough to face that exact challenge. Flow is when we are deeply engaged in something, and loose track of time.
Baking pancakes is a state of flow – especially, when you bake the Danish or French crepes, that are thin, and where precision is needed to flip them without breaking them.
Making great pancakes require presence and focus. Flow.
Pancakes are social food. We (almost?) always bake pancakes for another person or for a group. You bake pancakes for people you love, and you know, that someone baking you pancakes is an act of love.
Eating pancakes strengthen our sense of togetherness and makes us feel socially safe.
Pancakes are a part of every close relationship – or at least they should be. #lovetoshare
Meaning and purpose
What could be more meaningful than feeding yourself, and the people you love, great food? I suggest, that it is always meaningful to cook food, since we need food to survive – but in this case there is added meaning and purpose, because of the positive emotions, engagement and social benefit that comes with baking pancakes specifically.
Well-being is the purpose of pancakes.
Just think of the huge stack of panckes you have baked – that sure feels like an accomplishment! I know, that it is not something that is going to change the world, but it sure feels like an accomplishment, when you put that last baked pancake on the plate. You feel content and proud in a good and non-selfish way.
Need I say more?
Pancakes are positive psychology in action. Now go bake!