If you’re often overwhelmed by worry, you’ve probably looked into steps you can take to relieve your anxiety, and you might have come across something known as “stress baking.” Does baking really help reduce anxious thoughts? For many people, it does!
Here are a few reasons why baking can be a great stress reliever:
- Baking forces you to focus on step-by-step instructions, which can help take your mind off the thoughts that are causing you stress. Distraction can be a healthy coping tool when used in balance with other interventions that address the specific concern.
- Many people with anxiety feel that they lack control over the world around them, and baking helps them regain a sense of power. With baking you are generally following a specific recipe that needs to be measured and controlled. This gives us a healthy outlet for our sense of control!
- Baking often requires repetitive motions—for example, stirring batter or kneading dough—which can be calming due to its sensory properties. You can focus on the different textures and feels as you go through out your baking experience.
- If you baked with your parents or grandparents as a child, making the same recipes as an adult can help you recall those happy, soothing memories. Bringing up certain memories through experiences can help us remain connected to our loved ones or a positive feeling. We know that smell is one of the strongest senses connected to a memory and what better smell than freshly baked goodies!
- Many people share their baked goods with loved ones, and the resulting social interaction can also help reduce anxiety. Social connection and giving back to others are major protective factors in our overall well-being.
Of course, it’s important to remember that stress baking isn’t always an answer to anxiety. If you’ve tried baking or other stress-relieving techniques and you’re still experiencing anxious thoughts, it’s important to consult with a professional.
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If anxiety has taken a hold on your life, our skilled and compassionate therapists can help. We have extensive experience treating anxiety, we can recommend other steps you can take to feel less anxious and resolve underlying issues that might be contributing to the anxiety. Contact us today to schedule your intake appointment or for a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit!