The Psychology of Baking For Others
Although baking can be stressful, it has been a source of therapy for many. The psychology of baking is complex. It affects human psychology, as well as sociology. While the act of baking is a form of stress relief, joy also comes from the act of giving. And that is why “[b]aking, especially when it’s done for others, can be accompanied [by] a host of psychological benefits.” Now, “psychologists [are] spending more time exploring cooking and baking as a therapeutic tool to help people dealing with things like depression and anxiety.” Indeed, baking is a creative, meditative, and selfless act, and deserves further research into its potential benefits.
(1) Baking is Creativity
The argument that baking leads to mental health improvements is based on the benefits of being creative thinking. Simply put, research shows that ” . . . a little creativity each day can go a long way towards happiness and satisfaction in the bustle of daily life.” This joy comes from the reduced stress and feelings of well-being that come from baking. In addition, it allows one to express themselves through an artistic median. Clearly, for those who do not know how to paint or draw, baking presents a medium for expressing emotions.
(2) Baking is Meditation
Baking requires precision. Precision requires focus. And focus requires presence. For instance, ” ‘[y]ou have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough, [and] [i]f you’re focusing on smell and taste, on being present with what you’re creating, that act of mindfulness in that present moment can also have a result in stress reduction.’ “ Undeniably, it would be difficult to bake without being mindful. Even a simple misstep, can have drastic consequences on the final product.
(3) Baking is Bonding
Typically, baking is done with the intention of sharing. In addition, the act of giving has several mental health benefits. As a result, “‘[b]aking for others can increase a feeling of wellbeing, contribute to stress relief and make you feel like you’ve done something good for the world, which perhaps increases your meaning in life and connection with other people.'” And likely, the recipient of that baked good will feel good too.