With many people staying at home during the pandemic and being so stressed, some have turned to baking as a great coping mechanism. It is considered as a mindful activity to help focus in the present and quiet one’s inner dialogue where the anxiety stems from. But then, does baking relieve stress? As per experts baking is one of the best ways to relieve stress and beat anxiety. Many psychologists believe that baking can provide a positive way of distraction. Baking, specifically, requires one to follow many steps. From preheating the oven, to measuring, mixing ingredients to beating there are many things one needs to control while baking. Following these steps gives one a sense of routine and finally seeing the end result can bring a feeling of accomplishment and calm.
7 Reasons How Baking Relieve Stress And Makes You Feel Better
Baking is proven to have a calming, rewarding effect on people. A study confirmed that individuals who participate in small creative projects like cooking and baking help lower our stress hormones. High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine can cause sleep problems, low immunity, high blood pressure and more. Baking helps reduce the levels of these stress hormones thereby minimizing anxiety and stress that your body is exposed to. Here let’s take a look at a few good reasons to know how does baking relieve stress and anxiety.
Baking Helps Express Better
Baking is a remarkably effective form of self-expression that helps relieve stress. There are times when words don’t feel like enough, baking can be used as a form to convey love, thanks, appreciation, and even sympathy. As you bake, you create and relieve stress and the others around you get to enjoy the results. There comes a sense of accomplishment, calm and well-being from being the giver.
Baking Is A Sensory Experience
According to psychologists, baking triggers our five senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Sight functions allow you to determine if your dough has raised enough and smell can help you know when that caramel is just right. Touch is required for kneading dough, shaping, and decorating, taste is needed to ensure that flavors are balanced. Sound though less often used, but it is valuable when it comes to the overall baking experience. Of all the senses, smell is heavily connected to memory. These strong memories and their positive emotions can be triggered by the experience of baking and make you feel calm and de-stressed.
Baking Offers Repetitive Activities
Repetitive activities are often the ones which give one the most calming feelings. Many things are out of our control right now, but when you’re baking you know what your next step is. Kneading, mixing, measuring, shaping, and decorating all are repetitive activities while baking. Concentrating and being completely involved in what you’re doing can be a healthy way to reduce stress. It can help you get into a zone where other distractions and stressors fall away. You’ll feel more connected to yourself and what you are working on, which can be calming.
Baking Brings Out Your Creative Side
Studies suggest that regularly involving in small acts of creativity can help one feel more relaxed, happier, and enthusiastic about life. Baking is a creative process where one needs to open up. When one is trying to come out with something creative there is a lot of thought and ideas that goes into one’s mind. This helps in keeping away from negative thoughts. Many psychologists have expressed that baking can be a great stress reliever and can contribute to a feeling of personal growth.
Baking An Act Of Generosity
There’s nothing quite like baking for others, it is an act of generosity. Baking for others fills us up with warmth, increases feelings of well-being, relieves stress, and improves one’s connection with others. It creates the best moments by spreading love and feels the same in return. The pleasure you receive seeing others enjoy what you have baked is a very fulfilling activity and it is going to have a boost in your confidence.
Baking Stimulates You From Within
The feel of the dough, heat of the oven, the sound of the blender and smell of the baked products are sure to stimulate your senses, which in turn increases the feel-good endorphins. Being focused and aware of what you are doing, sensing and feeling has been found to reduce stress and improve happiness. Focusing on what’s right in front of you stimulates you from within and can help ease feelings of anxiety, depression and stress.
Helps Build Relationships
Being alone is directly connected to depression and it can trigger negative thoughts. Baking in a group setting is a great opportunity to connect with other people, thus making it easier to make friends. When one is feeling low or stressed, baking with others can transform those negative feelings back into a positive state. You get a feeling of support, safety, trust and belonging when we socialize and build relationships. Baking activities at home too can help form a strong and healthy relationship with your better half and children too. When you know there are so many people to fall back on, anxiety and stress levels automatically come down.
With all the above benefits, it’s best to switch to baking when you feel stressed or anxious, as baking relieves stress and provides comfort. This also comes with an added benefit; it is a great way to get the attention off your gadgets. For people who find baking and cooking very stressful, I would suggest they start with small and simple recipes. Check out and do what suits you the best and don’t forget to relax and enjoy what you are doing!