When the pandemic spread across the country, many people didn’t know what to do with their free time. While some hunkered down to binge-watch their favorite shows, others decided it was the perfect opportunity to get fit. However, if the empty flour shelves in the grocery stores can be any indication, even more people went for the comfort of food. And according to psychologists, that’s a good thing. (1)

Baking Stress Relief

Even though some of us might get stressed out when we try to pound out bread dough to impress Martha Stewart, psychologists say baking can be a great way to deal with stress. This mental health boost could be just what the doctor ordered if you find it difficult to cope. (1)

Baking is a much-needed distraction that can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. It offers comfort as those sweet smells wafting from the kitchen keep us thinking of the best that awaits us. (1)

Baking Stress Reduction Through Distraction

As Martha would say, having something to look forward to, even if it’s just a batch of mom’s cookies, is, as Martha would say, “A good thing.” The simple process of following directions to measure ingredients has a calming effect because it takes up our attention. We remain engaged in something pleasant, so we focus on something more positive. (1)

“I think right now, with everything going on, baking is a great way to get the attention off of your phone and your computer and back in the kitchen. You have to pay attention to detail when you’re baking because baking is an exact science,” says registered dietitian Amber Pankonin. (1)

Baking Stress Avoidance Through Mindfulness

Baking is also an excellent way to practice mindfulness. You are completely absorbed in the present, providing an excellent coping mechanism. Preparing food refocuses your thoughts, so you are less focused on fretting about the stressors in your life. (1)

You can trigger all your senses when baking, according to psychologists. You then have the satisfaction of seeing, not to mention eating, the results of your work. It provides a sense of accomplishment when you enjoy something tangible as a reward for your efforts. (1)

Baking Stress Decreases By Providing Control

Baking gives you control over the situation, even if just for a short while. You follow the steps, wait for the food to bake, and enjoy it. According to Pankonin and many psychologists, it is a positive distraction. “I think it can take your mind off what is going on in the world and give you something else to focus on for 30 minutes… just to give your mind a break from what is happening in the rest of the world,” she says. (1)

The science of baking takes up time and focuses attention on the task at hand, making it beneficial for your mental health. It has become popular; people have created hashtags to share their recipes, such as #stressbaking. (1) 

So if you find yourself feeling the pressures of the day, reach for your mom’s cookbook, or try these recipes to help soothe your soul and heal your weary mind. (1)


  1. https://www.1011now.com/content/news/Psychologists-say-baking-reduces-stress-and-anxiety–569468111.html

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