Why is baking good for mental health?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Baking is often touted as a therapeutic activity, and for good reason. Engaging in baking can have numerous positive effects on mental health. Here’s why baking is good for mental health:

1. Sense of accomplishment: Baking allows us to create something from scratch, and there’s a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from seeing the finished product. This can boost our self-esteem and provide a sense of pride in our abilities.

2. Stress relief: Baking can serve as a form of stress relief, providing a much-needed distraction from daily worries. The process of measuring ingredients, following a recipe, and focusing on the task at hand can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety.

3. Mindfulness practice: Baking requires us to be fully present in the moment, focusing on the task at hand. This can be seen as a form of mindfulness practice, as it helps to anchor our attention and brings us into the present moment. By being fully engaged in the baking process, we can temporarily let go of our worries and find a sense of calm.

4. Creativity and self-expression: Baking allows for creativity and self-expression. We can experiment with different flavors, textures, and decorations, giving us a chance to express ourselves artistically. This creative outlet can be highly therapeutic and provide a sense of joy and fulfillment.

5. Nostalgia and happy memories: Baking often evokes feelings of nostalgia, as many of us have fond memories of baking with loved ones or enjoying homemade treats during special occasions. When we’re cooking and baking, we’re often recreating positive experiences or happy memories. This can bring about a sense of comfort and happiness, creating a positive emotional state.

6. Sensory experience: Baking engages all our senses. The smell of freshly baked goods, the texture of the dough, the taste of a warm cookie – these sensory experiences can be incredibly pleasurable and enjoyable. Engaging our senses in this way can boost our mood and bring about a sense of joy and well-being.

7. Social connection: Baking can also be a social activity, providing an opportunity to connect with others. Whether it’s baking with friends, family, or joining a baking class, the shared experience can foster a sense of community and belonging, which is essential for our mental health.

Baking is good for mental health because it provides a sense of accomplishment, serves as a stress reliever, promotes mindfulness, allows for creativity and self-expression, evokes happy memories, engages our senses, and facilitates social connection. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed or in need of a pick-me-up, consider whipping up a batch of your favorite baked goods and enjoy the therapeutic benefits it brings.