Baking is love made edible.
There’s nothing quite like the smell and taste of home made bakes. Those who love to bake will use any reason to heat up their ovens; whether it be for a birthday, a party, or just for the love of sharing.
Turns out baking isn’t just about creating something heartwarming and tummy-filling. When baking is done for others, it can deliver a host of psychological benefits.
A FORM OF SELF-EXPRESSION
“Baking as the benefit of allowing people creative expression. Whether it’s painting or it’s making music [or baking], there is a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.” - Donna Pincus
Baking for others is a productive and helpful way to communicate feelings. This is especially connected to the way we bring food to someone in their time of need. Sometimes there are no words, but food can communicate what we are trying to say. Baking can be helpful for people to put their feelings into action.
“In many cultures, in many countries, food really is an expression of love.” - Julie Ohana
A FORM OF MINDFULNESS
“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.” - Donna Pincus
Just like how meditation can increase happiness and reduce stress, baking can help produce similar rewards. When you bake, you are not dwelling on sad or depressing thoughts and you are even rewarded with something tangible and delicious at the end.
A FORM OF GENEROSITY
“Baking for others can increase a feeling of wellbeing, contribute to stress relief and make you feel like you’ve done something good for the world, which perhaps increases your meaning in life and connection with other people.” - Donna Pincus
The purpose of baking for others is to give and the whole process itself contributes to a sense of wellbeing. It’s a form of generosity - a sacrifice you are making for someone else - a selfless act.
As Susan Whitbourne says, “there is also a symbolic value in baking for others because food has both physical and emotional significance.”
All this being said, if baking causes you stress, you might not reap the same benefits. As long as it brings you joy, it will bring you the benefits too.
Cheers to baking!