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Get your mixing bowls out, baking is officially good for your mental health

Baking is officially good for your mental health so pop those aprons on and get going. The selfless act of baking for others it's at.

Image credit: The female cook cooks dough for pastries on a kitchen table

6th Apr 2017

Baking is truly the good stuff, pop those aprons on and get going!

Perhaps we're preaching to the choir but just to re-iterate baking is definitely one the of the most beneficial ways to spend your time. When your measuring and kneading it buys you a window of time where nothing else matters except how light your mix is and how soggy your bottom will be. And just wait for the part when you get to relish in the fact that you made that tasty treat and you can enjoy eating it. Ask any regular baker and they’ll tell you that it’s pretty much, a kind of therapy – a practical form of mindfulness. It’s good, clean fun, which is why Bake Off is so close to our hearts, plus we love to see people have a bit of freak out when their chocolate sculptures begin to melt. It's also been said by Mental health professionals that they agree that baking – and particularly baking for others – is good for your mental health. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Donna Pincus, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University says that: ‘Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression’. ‘Baking actually requires a lot of full attention. You have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough. If 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.’ Being completely focused on flour and sugar also means that we can’t get bogged down thinking about things that’ll only depress us. 'We know that rumination leads to depression and sad thoughts…and the nice thing about baking is that you have such a tangible reward at the end and that can feel very beneficial to others.’ And it’s the selfless act of baking for others where the real health benefits begin to appear. When we bake for others, we’re not doing it competitively or to get any attention – we do it because we want to share food with those who we know will appreciate our time and effort and don't forget our delicious baked goods. Baking can make us feel like we’ve done something positive in the world and it strengthens our connection to other people. Cooking up a batch of biscuits might not be a technical challenge in the semi-finals of the bake off but they’ll probably brighten someone’s otherwise dark day. This story first appeared on The Metro  

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