Why Baking Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

dad and daughter baking therapy

Are you one of those who experienced anxiety during the pandemic? Ever since I heard about the virus in China, I already knew that it had a high chance of spreading to other countries. Before news of it came to the US, I was slowly stocking up on food supplies. I didn’t want to go on a panic-buying spree and end up forgetting essentials or hoarding on unnecessary stuff. Among the essential baking supplies I stocked up on are flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch. Time to start baking therapy!

Most people I know are also experiencing anxiety and are looking for ways to divert their attention. Some start a new hobby or take up a hobby that they haven’t done in years, such as painting, needlework, cooking, and baking. Personally, cooking and baking are my stress relievers. When I am in the kitchen, I feel like I am in my own world where nobody or nothing can stop me. The sounds of the spoon banging on the pans, the whir of the mixer, and hiss of the gas range are music to my ears. The smells of the kitchen never fail to arouse my senses and envelope me in an otherworldly mist. I feel like a fairy in my own world.

Why I Love Baking

Baking is a science. It requires precision in measurements and even in mixing ingredients. You should never go wrong with baking, or else, it will affect the outcome. For example, over-mixing will affect the texture of your cookies, cakes, and pies. Therefore, if you don’t want added stress due to failed attempts, make sure you read the recipe thoroughly before getting started. It also helps to prepare the ingredients in advance so you can let that room temperature butter melt. Make sure that you also have your tools within reach such as your aluminum baking racks, trivet pads, spatula, mixer, and parchment paper.

baking with love

Top Reasons Why Baking Therapy Relieves Stress

So, why does baking help in reducing stress and anxiety? Here’s why…

  1. Baking requires following directions – Since baking is a science, there are steps that you must strictly follow. These steps require concentration and patience. Therefore, you will forget about anything that is currently worrying you.
  2. Baking puts you in control – You are the master in your own kitchen. You have studied the recipe and know what to do. Baking allows you to control the taste, texture, and design of your masterpiece.
  3. Baking lets your creativity shine – When you make creative decisions such as how large you want your cookies, what flavor of cupcakes, or what toppings on your cake, it elicits happiness.
  4. There is a physical connection between mind and body – As I shared earlier, the cosmic rhythm of baking such as kneading the dough blended with the sounds of the mixer awakens the senses. It is sort of hypnotic and relaxing. Thus, your brain releases endorphins or “happy hormones” when your senses are unlocked.
  5. Baking goodies is a sign of affection – We become mindful of others and promote altruism. We become happy when we bake for others, especially when they love our baked goods. Even though the kids bother me when the pastries are still resting on the cookie baking racks, I feel happy knowing that they are excited with my masterpiece.
  6. A meditative process – Baking and cooking creates peace of mind and shuns negative thoughts because both requires patience and your complete attention. Chances are, when you are not focused, you’ll end up not hearing the timer and burn the cookies in the oven.
  7. Baking and cooking are therapeutic – Some addiction treatment centers have culinary activities for its residents. Baking helps improve memory and concentration, enhances organization and planning skills, and prevents boredom. Also, once you see your baked goods or smell the delicious cookies or pastries, it boosts your self esteem that you have created something so wonderful.
  8. Helps us stay healthy –  When we are aware of the food and ingredients that we use, we become health-conscious. We come up with dishes or baked goods that are healthier alternatives to store-bought food.

Tips to Get Started with Baking 

chef baking

In a previous blog post, I talked about Beginner Baking Tips to help you get started. If you want to start baking therapy, make sure that you have the tools ready. You should also make wise decisions such as if you need a baking pan made of aluminum or silicone. You also need a baking pan set that is easy to maintain and durable.  Make sure that you have all the baking ingredients on hand. Reading and understanding the instructions also helps. At least you can still research what “letting the dough rise”means. or even how to adjust the settings of your new mixer.

Conclusion

All of us get stressed every now and then. This should not stop you from functioning well and staying healthy. There are many ways to cope with stress, and for homemakers like me, cooking and baking therapy is one of the best methods. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your baking racks and apron and start cooking!

Have an experience you’d like to share? Leave us a comment! Don’t forget to share this with your friends, too.

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