Baked goods are the kind of food that gives you a feeling of home. The smell of freshly baked bread or the taste of the chocolate oozing from a brownie just out of the oven gives you a warm feel. Adding to this, recent research shows the significant benefits of mental health as a result of the art of baking.
Baking is something in which anyone can easily partake. Whether it’s your grandma baking you some cookies when you go over to see her after a long while, or if you would like to do something special for your close ones on their birthdays – baking can be for anyone. Baking a cake, icing it, adding fondant, etc. is a lovely way to show someone how much you care about them. It shows that you were thinking about spending your time to do something for them. It betters your mental health as well as the health of the one for whom you have baked something. This is one of the reasons why research has found baking to be an excellent uplifter for your mental health.
How Does Baking Better Your Mental Health?
There are a few reasons why we believe that baking is good for the mind, besides the mouth. Here are a few of those reasons.
1. Cooking and baking are meditative. In fact, research shows that doing any activity repeatedly (however, not excessively) can be very therapeutic to the mind. It helps the mind focus on one thing, in particular, driving negative thoughts away by replacing them with calming and positive ones. The processes that come under baking, including whisking together ingredients, measuring and weighing different ingredients, etc., require your full attention, to not get the recipe wrong. Hence, it does wonders for your mental health to bake every once in a while.
2. Baking stimulates all your five senses, which leads to your body releasing endorphins, which are necessary to be able to maintain good mental health. Your sense of smell, touch, taste, sound, and sight are activated when you are baking. The scent of your baked goods in the oven, the feel of kneading dough, eating your finished baked goods (or sneak a taste of the batter), listening to the sound of the mixer, and seeing the mixture you are making, respectively, activate your five senses. Your body then releases endorphins, i.e., happy hormones.
3. Baking for someone makes you feel good. When you do something for someone out of your own choice, it gives you a grateful and joyous feeling on the inside. The same goes for if what you are doing for someone, even yourself, is baking for them. It is also something we can call a nourishing activity, which can apply for nourishing others as well as yourself. When you make someone else happy, seeing the joy on their faces also makes you feel satisfied. For your mental health, this is a boon.
4. Baking is creative. Many a time we may read or hear about artists who did their creative work in depths of sadness. So many times, when you are feeling low, writing down your feelings, drawing something, etc. may work for you. With baking, you can choose to do a lot of different things to express yourself. The icing on cupcakes, making different shapes and objects out of fondant, etc. Research finds that creative expression can lead to better mental health. Hence, baking being creative also adds to the betterment of your mental health.