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Baking Just Might Be The Secret To Alleviating Your Stress

I know I can't be the only one who's feeling the stress right now. The world has pretty much been turned on its head, and we're all just sort of floundering around trying to find our footing again.

When it comes to dealing with that stress, we all probably have our own go-to's. Personally, I like to play Animal Crossing for eight hours in my pajamas and eat all the snacks in the cupboard. But I know there must be better ways out there to help me feel calm and find my zen again.

Well, as it turns out, baking can actually be the perfect coping mechanism for when times get tough and the stress gets real.

Usually I only bake when I run out of cookies and don't feel like going to the store, but it might do us some good to break out the hand-mixer more often.

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According to Huffington Post, baking, especially when done for others, can actually offer a whole host of psychological benefits.

“Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression,” Donna Pincus, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, explained. “There’s a lot of literature for connection between creative expression and overall well-being. Whether it’s painting or it’s making music [or baking], there is a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”

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Not only does baking allow you to get creative, but it also triggers your senses, which can definitely help with the whole stress thing.

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"The smell of spices and vanilla are comforting, and [they] often remind us of happy times," Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, told Delish. "Olfactory scents are particularly linked to areas of the brain that involve emotions and memory."

"There's also the magic of it all," she continued. "Mixing inert substances together, and watching them rise can bring out the mystic, or the chemist, in all of us."

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More than anything, baking helps satiate our natural craving for routine, especially when we're incredibly stressed.

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"There is a rhythm or pattern to baking," McNaughton-Cassill said. "It feels familiar and can even lead to a mindful state."

Baking engages you; it requires attention, focus, and precision. And the best part is once you've finished your recipe, you feel significantly less stressed and you have a pan of fresh-baked brownies to enjoy!

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We need something positive and beneficial to occupy our minds now more than ever, and baking fills that role perfectly.

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As Pincus explained,

“You’re not spending time ruminating over your thoughts. We know that rumination leads to depression and sad thoughts, if you’re not doing something productive. And the nice thing about baking is that you have such a tangible reward at the end and that can feel very beneficial to others.”

Yeah, I would definitely call that a win-win. Besides, what else do you have to do right now? Exactly.

h/t: Huffington Post, Delish

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