Baking allows people to express themselves creatively. Creative expressions through different art forms like baking, singing, dancing, or writing provide an outlet to expression. There is a positive correlation between creative expression and well-being. According to the journal of positive psychology, those who worked on creative goals were more likely to experience joy, confidence, and general inner satisfaction. Researchers are exploring baking and cooking as a therapeutic tool to help people deal with anxiety, stress, and depression. It is found that baking requires physical and mental attention, being engaged, focused, and provides an outlet for the expression of negative emotions and thoughts.
Stress is defined as emotional and physiological reactions experienced when an individual confronts a situation which disturbs the equilibrium and the individual doesn’t have enough resources for coping. Such events are perceived as stressful when people believe that their resources are not sufficient to meet the harm, threat, and challenge of the stressors. The stressor is the stressful event, situation, context that causes stress to the person. There are different ways to deal with stress like changing sleep schedules, nutritious diet, exercise, yoga, and meditation. Baking is a combination of mindfulness and expressive arts therapy as it helps in staying focused and engaged and is also a form of expression.
Baking as a form of expression –
Baking is a form of self-expression which allows people to communicate through their art form. It provides an outlet to express negative and positive emotions. It is associated with positive emotion and a feeling of calmness and relaxation. It helps in staying focused and engages in what you are doing. It activates all the senses in the process of baking. It is considered as a de-stressor. The repetitive motions involved in kneading, mixing, measuring, and cake-decorating is soothing and stress-reducing. It helps in reaching the state of “Flow”, which increases self-connection and self-esteem, which further leads to high emotional capacity. These creative pursuits act as effective distractors to get the mind focused on something more productive and beneficial than ruminating over thoughts and worries.
Baking for others or yourself is a form of mindfulness –
There are many benefits of being mindful and practicing meditation such as increasing happiness or reduction of stress. Baking requires attention and engagement. For instance, while baking, you have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough, focusing on smell and taste and on being present with what you’re creating. It requires following a step by step process, but also thinking about the recipe as a whole, dishes as a whole, what are you going to do with it and the time you spend doing it. Creativity, coordination, reasoning, etc are required to bake a successful result. All these factors team up to inspire a level of “focused-relaxation” that’s soothing for many people. It focuses on the here and now which helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. There are certain websites, shops, and organizations which help in providing baking recipes as a stress buster. It helps people dealing with depression and anxiety to join these groups and to work together towards formulating healthy coping mechanisms. It provides social support as well as therapeutic benefits through baking.
Baking for others is a form of altruism –
Baking for others contributes to stress relief and makes you feel like you have done something good for the world or the people in your life. It increases the sense of meaning in life. It leads to forming a connection with other people. It also contributes to the well-being and comfort of the person who is serving and the person who is recovering. Baking for others has a symbolic value as food has both physical and emotional significance. In many cultures and countries, food is an expression of love. It’s beautiful because it’s something we all relate to. It could border on an unhealthy issue when it replaces communication in the traditional sense, but if it’s done along with communication, it is a positive and wonderful thing.
Baking is a therapeutic tool that helps in stress reduction. It provides an outlet for expression and creativity through baking. It is an activity which is the combination of mindfulness, behavioral activation, and expressive arts. So, take out time from your schedule, search for the baking recipe, follow it, and enjoy the experience of baking. It will help you feel calm, happy, and relaxed.
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