There’s more to baking pies and cakes than just filling up empty stomachs. According to science, baking can be therapeutic. The mere acts of preparing ingredients, measuring cups of sugar and flour, and placing everything in the oven have been proven an effective method for relieving stress.
So, if you’ve been stressed out lately and you need something to turn that frown upside down, then you should try baking. It can truly make you feel better in a couple of hours and here are the reasons why.
Baking is a meditative process
People who meditate often reach a level of consciousness wherein their minds are in sort of a trance even though they still know what they’re doing. This often happens when a person repeats a mantra or an action until the process becomes automatic.
In baking, the process of preparing the ingredients can also be meditative because it’s repetitive. So, it’s not as stressful as something like figuring out your marketing plan for the company.
You might even want to check out the people who work in a bakery and see if they do experience a state of calm whenever they work the table top depositor. Perhaps watching the cupcakes getting baked gives them a soothing scenario.
Also, the sweet smell of sugar, cinnamon, and other ingredients can help people’s moods lighten up because the olfactory system is directly linked to the limbic system, which is said to be in charge of our emotions. If it receives positive signals, then it will affect the rest of our brain into thinking positively.
Another reason baking is good for the soul is that it stimulates our imagination and lets us be creative. And it has been proven that people who get to express themselves in creative ways have a more positive outlook. Stimulating your imagination is healthy for the mind.
Baking for others makes you feel good
One more reason is that altruism actually makes us feel better. Think about it, whenever you get to help someone without being prompted to do so, you immediately feel good when that person shows you his gratitude.
It’s the same thing with baking. Whenever you bake a cake or cookies for someone, be it your friends or family members, once they bite into your creation and tell you that it tastes great, you automatically feel good.
That’s because by helping others, you’re also activating the pleasure region in your brain. In fact, scientists say that people who often help others have been able to reduce their stress levels significantly. So, they’re less likely to develop severe health risks in the long run.
Even though you’re just baking for a small group of people, the positive feeling you get from their positive feedback is enough to reduce the stress level in your body. And if you do this for a long time, the positive effects will continue helping you manage chronic stress.
Baking treats for your friends and family members may bring a smile on their faces. But more than that, this wonderful pastime can also bring a smile to your face and even help your mind be healthier.