Studies have shown that creative activities like baking and knitting contribute to an overall sense of well-being. Boston University associate professor of psychological and brain sciences Donna Pincus told HuffPost that there’s “a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”
Baking is very good for focusing the mind because it often relies on very exact measurements. You have to add ingredients in the correct order or your profiteroles won’t rise, or your cookies will be soggy. Having complete focus on a recipe and not allowing yourself to be distracted by your thoughts can have a therapeutic affect.
In other words, most of the decisions have already been made for you, allowing you to concentrate on the details while nudging your mind away from the stressors and anxieties of your life outside the kitchen.
Basically, baking is a minor feat that you can use to visualize a happy moment in the future, when the cookies, bread, or cake is finished, delicious, and being shared with family or friends.
The act of sharing your finished product can be good for the body and soul, too, says Pincus.
“You feel like you’ve done something good for the world, which perhaps increases your meaning in life and connection with other people.”