Anxious? Try baking to relieve your stress

Earlier this year we reported on "procrastibaking", a term coined by Julia Moskin at The New York Times for baking when you should really be working on other projects. A new phrase describes another trend on the rise, especially with millenials - anxiety baking. As the name implies, this baking is an attempt by people to reduce stress, and (no surprise to many of us) it really works. 

scones

There are several hypothesis on why baking can ease anxiety and reduce stress. There is the physical release from working with your hands, the pleasure you get from the creative process, and the zen that can come from throwing yourself into a a recipe. "Baking is mindful. Mindfulness means paying attention to yourself in the moment and not being in the past or the future, but really being there," says Philip Muskin, a Columbia University psychiatry professor.

Baking is useful as a stress-relieving exercise because it's affordable for most people and there is a tangible result at the end of the journey. Unlike some cooking projects, baked goods are easily shared with others - when's the last time you took leftover roasted vegetables to the office to share with coworkers? That might seem a little strange, but taking the leftovers from a big batch of cookies is perfectly acceptable - and usually warmly received. 

1 Comment

  • hillsboroks  on  12/18/2018 at 11:19 PM

    I think this story explains my son's new interest in baking. He has a very high stress job with long hours and he and his wife stick to a strict healthy diet for 6 days each week to stay in shape. But the 7th day is "cheat" day when he bakes up a storm and they can indulge a bit. All the excess baked goods go to work with him the next day to be shared. He started with scones last spring and is now turning out lovely eclairs and macarons.

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