We bakers, professionals and amateurs alike, already knew that baking makes you feel good. It’s one of the original warm-fuzzy feelings!
The researchers followed 658 people for about two weeks, and found that doing small, everyday things like cooking and baking made the group feel more enthusiastic about their pursuits the next day, Daisy Meager reports for Munchies.
Again we say, well… duh!
Anyone who’s ever pulled a beautiful cake from the oven in a cloud of fragrant steam knows. Anyone who’s ever watched their cookies reach a perfect spread – and then stop! – knows. Anyone who’s ever watched a smile through the crumbs knows. Baking makes you feel good!
And there’s more!
…Connor found that in addition to feeling happier, people who worked on little creative projects every day also felt they were “flourishing”—a psychological term that describes the feeling of personal growth. That could mean that the good feeling that comes with pulling a freshly-baked loaf of bread out of the oven could carry over into the next day, making that baker more likely to keep on with their little acts of creative cooking…
Baking makes you feel good, which may make you want to bake more, which makes you feel good, which may make you want to bake more! It’s like the opposite of “getting stuck in a rut”.
Psychologists have recently begun to see and understand the connections between preparing food and positive feelings, and are starting to look at baking and cooking for their value as mental health tools. Because it is intricate, creative, and requires focus, baking can elevate mood in a similar manner to meditation.
This is not news to any of us who preheat the oven and grab some mixing bowls as our automatic response to stress!
“A lot of us turn to baking when we’re feeling low… Some of us even started baking because they were ill and needed something simple as a focus. And there is genuinely something very therapeutic about baking.”
We couldn’t agree more!