Roy Gilbert

Research suggests taking up baking can help you feel better

If you’ve been trying to get a little more mindfulness in your life, whipping up a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies might be exactly what you need. Several studies suggest that creative activities like baking can deliver mindfulness benefits. For example: A 2016 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that practicing simple creative acts on a regular basis can lead to more positive psychological functioning. An April 2018 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that young adults who engaged in “Maker activities,” such as cooking, baking, and gardening, was linked to positive subjective well-being. Participants said the most important reasons for engaging in such activities were mood repair, socializing, and staying present-focused. Another study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine found that “culinary therapy” can even be an effective tool in grief management. “Many people find joy and calmness in baking, because it is very tactile and typically commands your full attention, primarily when you use repetitive motions with your hands,” says corporate mentor and coach Kimberly Lou , author of Becoming Who You’re Meant to Be . “Because of this, it can have a therapeutic effect that calms the central nervous system and connects to the part of the brain that accesses creativity and imagination,” she says. In addition, Lou says the texture, smell, and taste of the ingredients stimulate the senses, tapping into the pleasure senses of the brain. Celebrity chef and cake designer Marina Sousa says she experiences this feeling […]

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