We know that baking is rewarding because we get to taste the benefits when something delicious we made comes out of the oven. But baking has undeniable benefits with mindfulness and our well-being too. In this article, we’ll focus on baking as a mindfulness exercise and explore examples of activities that promote a balanced, mindful life every day.
3 ways baking benefits your mind and body
Baking has obvious rewards. If you follow the steps and measure carefully, you’ll end up with a delicious treat. But the benefits of baking go far beyond a piece of cake. Baking can have holistic benefits for your mental health and well-being. The simple act of planning and baking a recipe provides incredible benefits that can enhance your quality of life.
1. Research shows that baking can make you calmer and happier
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology showed that everyday creativity makes life feel more expansive and bright. This study outlines how setting creative goals and keeping them cultivates positive psychological effects. How can we apply this study to reap the benefits of baking?
- Exercise your mind by choosing a new recipe or by baking something you’ve never made before. The act of setting a specific goal will challenge you and give you a sense of accomplishment when it’s fulfilled.
- Baking is a great example of a creative, mindful activity. The 2016 study also emphasizes the importance of creativity, so make sure you’re having some fun with your recipe and don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Explore fun baking ideas to make at home and choose a recipe that lets you experiment and decorate.
2. Mindful baking allows for reflection, calm, and healing
In a time where constant distractions are everywhere, baking can provide a calming ritual to look forward to each week. Many therapy programs recommend incorporating positive rituals like baking into personal routines, especially in times of stress or hardship.
- Baking and cooking are so beneficial to healing that there are even examples of workshops designed especially to help individuals process grief through baking.
- Many people find they process thoughts, feelings, or ideas more proactively while doing a simple, repetitive action like baking.
- While it’s great to be creative and challenge your baking skills, baking a simple, familiar recipe can also be a soothing practice in its own way. Choosing a well-loved recipe can allow for a more meditative state as you bake.
3. Baking builds community
The pure benefits of baking are evident in a community or family context. During hard times, baking something special for a loved one has undeniable mental health benefits. Many of us have a family memory of baking that brings back good feelings. Here at Boomerang, some of us have fond memories of baking a family birthday cake and the kids licking the icing bowl – a true moment of connection. We get that same feeling when we see our online Boomerang baking community connecting through classes and online discussions, trying out new skills, sharing recipes, even laughing at a failed attempt at a new recipe.
Baking reinforces mindfulness and strengthens relationships. But baking teaches us other important skills too: creativity; how to learn from mistakes; and how to give back.
Additional ways to practice mindfulness
Baking isn’t the activity that can deliver mindfulness benefits. Here are some other ways to find calm:
- Try another traditional, calming ritual and expand your mindfulness practice. We recommend online mindfulness and meditation classes for older adults.
- Learn to tune in to your body and your breath. Online yoga workshops for seniors offer a chance to tap into mindfulness and are designed to benefit your everyday life.
- Sit down for 10 minutes and make a list of every thing in your current situation that causes you stress. Next, cross out every item on our list that is out of your control; someone else’s feelings, a sense of loss, natural fears that arise. Now take a look at your list and add anything you can control. This could include an activity you love, an intentional act of kindness, or the way you treat yourself. Choose to release what is out of your control and take action on the things you can control.
Read more about 5 Simple Tools to Help You Rebalance and Recharge.
Learn mindfulness with Boomerang’s online workshops
Our online community of older adults and seniors at Boomerang love to share mindfulness tips and new hobbies together. Whether you’re looking to expand your skills, have some fun, or learn mindfulness, this is the right place for you.
Sign up for Boomerang to see all of our mindfulness workshops where you can develop your skills and connect with others.
View upcoming mindfulness workshops and classes.