Whipping up treats in the kitchen can do more than just create yummy comfort food, according to a growing range of sources in both the culinary and mental health worlds. In fact, baking has been found to have therapeutic value which helps to ease depression and anxiety. And seeing that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, this wholesome therapy is good for the whole family. But watch the sugar – how about making healthy versions of your favorite treats?
1. COOKING IS MEDITATIVE
Any activity which takes your whole attention – especially if it’s simple and repetitive – can have a calming, meditative quality. The process of weighing out butter and sugar, whisking eggs, beating and folding creates space in the mind, and eases negative thinking processes.
2. BAKING STIMULATES THE SENSES
The feel of the flour, the sound of the blender, and of course the smell of the delectable final product – all these experiences stimulate the senses, which in turn increases feel-good endorphins.
3. NOURISHING ACTIVITIES FEEL GOOD
Baking – and any sort of cooking or food preparation – is ultimately about nourishing ourselves and others. To internalize this benefit, make an effort to bring your whole awareness to the healthy ingredients and love that go into your baked goodies.
4. BAKING IS CREATIVE
Psychologists have found a strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing – so experiment with that recipe if you dare, and make that frosting the prettiest it can be.
5. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY
One of the best things about baking is that you can give away your creations and make other people feel happy – which in turn puts a smile on your dial.