Baking a pie for your family or whipping up a batch of cookies for your friends is a great way to entertain, and making something delicious can be just as satisfying for the person baking as it is for the guests. Not only does spending time in the kitchen yield a final result of something delicious, but it can also come with a number of benefits.
A Huffington Post article explored the mental perks of baking, and they found some interesting results. Baking for others can provide a number of mental health benefits that will leave you feeling relaxed, less stressed, and more expressive. Here’s why you should bake for others to improve your health, according to science:
1. It Encourages Mindfulness
Meditating doesn’t have to be just sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed. Any activity that focuses on what you’re doing in the present moment constitutes mindfulness, and baking falls into that category, as you’re focused on that one activity or going through repetitive, intentional motions such as rolling dough or mixing a batter. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress, reduce ruminating thoughts and improve focus.
2. It’s Altruistic
Making your infamous brownies for your friends and family makes them feel good, and there’s an intrinsic reward for doing something nice for others. Research shows that helping others can help improve your physical health, your mental wellbeing and your self-esteem.
3. It’s Creative
Doing creative activities, such as coming up with something in the kitchen, can help with emotional functioning and wellbeing. A study from the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who frequently engage in small creative projects report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives. Working on these little projects — even if it’s just experimenting with a new cookie recipe — can also give you a feeling of personal growth.
Looks like baking something sweet can do so much more than just satisfy your sweet tooth. Best news ever?