Stress and anxiety build within us like a negative ball of energy. It feels unmanageable until you just can’t take it anymore. When stress gets to be too much, it’s completely necessary to find a way to channel those negative feelings into something positive.
People choose many different activities, depending on their interests, in order to let go of their anxiety. Some people choose to run to an imaginary destination on their treadmill, while others end up knitting all their friends and family personalized sweaters.
One of the best outlets for relieving your stress is baking. Here are a few reasons why baking is the go-to stress reliever:
1. A Tasty Stress Ball
Stress balls, those squishy plastic play toys, are often used to release our unused aggression in a safe way. Just squeezing it can make you unclench your teeth and let go some of the issues that are plaguing you-- at least for a little while.
The dough used in baking most things can act as a makeshift stress ball. Kneading dough is a great way to get out your aggression. The knots and bubbles in the dough can be your major stressors and it’s your job to get rid of them. Best of all, you get to eat it in the end; you definitely can’t do that with a traditional stress ball.
Smell is the one sense that is most associated with memory. When you put that apple pie in the oven, the smell might remind you of that great July 4th with the entire family. A sniff of nutmeg can bring you back to the time when you were young, watching your grandmother cook for you. These positive memories can go a long way to ease your stress.
A lot of the spices and scents used in baking have also been used in aromatherapy treatments. Scents, like vanilla and cinnamon, have been well-tested to reduce anxiety. So, just smelling your baked goods can go a long way in the healing process.
3. Embrace the Creative Side
Engaging in creative activities is often recommended by mental health professionals as a way to alleviate stress. Baking is no less a creative art than painting a landscape or sewing a dress. It’s as individual an art as any other because a person’s heart and soul goes into whatever they bake. No two bakers bake exactly the same.
Through trial and error, you can create your own spin on any classic recipe while baking. Whatever you end up making will be something that belongs solely to you because you used your imagination to generate it.
4. Building Confidence
At times, when we are filled with anxiety, we feel as if we can’t do anything right; however, when you bake something yourself, it always tastes a million times better than something store bought.
As you continue to learn to bake, you’ll grow as a cook, becoming better with every new recipe you try. Eventually, you’ll be a master at your craft. Baking a great way to build your once-crumbling confidence. Not only that, you’ll also have a great sense of accomplishment when you finish.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer in California whose writing covers many different industries, including health, technology and marketing. In addition to meditating and practicing yoga, she also finds that baking and cooking are great ways to relieve stress.