There are more ways to change your mood than deep breathing and long walks. Certain hobbies, such as baking, can make you feel better. The icing-on-the-cake benefit of harnessing your inner baker is that the end product is something you can enjoy and share with others. So don your favorite apron and start baking your way to happy.
If you’re new to baking and want to give it a try, it’s easy. Just a few pieces of equipment can get you started. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with the following baking tools:
- measuring cups and spoons
- baking pans
- wooden spoon or handheld mixer
While some recipes will guide you toward additional needed ingredients, these kitchen staples are good to keep on hand for when the baking bug bites:
- baking powder
- baking soda
- sugar (white and brown)
Worried about not having the right cookbook? You can find free recipes for every type of baked good imaginable online. A wealth of websites and recipes target beginning bakers. Just Google something you’d like to bake, such as chocolate chip cookies, and take your pick.
Baking affords you the opportunity to step off the fast track and out of your normal routine. It’s easy to forget about the day’s annoyances when you’re elbows deep in ingredients and absorbed in a recipe. Rather than thinking of baking as another task to race through, concentrate on the process. Take time to read the recipe carefully and perform each step—stirring, pouring, and decorating—mindfully.
Get out of Your Head
Though there’s a science to baking, it’s also an art. If you have a job that requires a lot of mental focus, baking gives you a good opportunity to use your hands in ways that are both nurturing and good for your joints. As you get into “the zone,” your troubles melt away and the meditative aspect of it keeps anxiety at bay.
Soothe Your Senses
A whiff of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven or the fruity smell of freshly baked banana bread can serve as an instant, aromatherapeutic pick-me-up. As your delicious ingredients combine, they’ll create wonderful smells that can transport you back to childhood.
You also activate the senses of touch, hearing, sight, and taste as you knead dough, stir batter, measure ingredients, and taste your work along the way. Whisk your way to a better mood to provide both a physical and mental outlet for your anxiety.
So many daily endeavors don’t result in a tangible product. As if the process of baking isn’t rewarding enough, indulging in the finished product will maximize your sense of accomplishment.
Share the Wealth
Perhaps the best part of baking is sharing the enjoyment with others. There’s nothing like homemade baked goods to show others you care. Take a time out with friends and family for treats, tea, and a mood-boosting time for everyone.