Baking Can Cure Your Winter Blues, According To Science
After a long week at work, a taxing visit from family, or even an argument with a good friend, it’s not uncommon for some to turn their stress into baked goods. And now a new research is proving that there’s definitely something to be said for baking and cooking as a coping mechanism.
According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who partake in small, creative projects are much more relaxed in their everyday lives, reports. After following 658 individuals for two weeks, scientists discovered that people felt happier and more enthusiastic about their tasks the next day if they regularly completed everyday activities like cooking or baking.
After sifting through their subjects’ detailed diaries on the matter, the study authors discovered that people who focused on creative projects perceived that they were “flourishing,” or advancing their personal growth. Tamlin Conner, the study’s lead author, that this could mean the accomplished feeling you get from taking fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies out of the oven or from frosting and decorating homemade cupcakes can carry over to the next day.
While this study makes big strides for the connection between creativity and emotion, there is a caveat. “There is growing recognition in psychology research that creativity is associated with emotional functioning,” Conner points out. “However, most of this work focuses on how emotions benefit or hamper creativity, not whether creativity benefits or hampers emotional well-being.”
But it’s also not the first time that preparing food and happiness have been linked psychologically. “A lot of us turn to baking when we’re feeling low,” Melanie Denyer, the founder of the Depressed Cake Shop, a bakery designed to draw awareness to mental health conditions, explained to the BBC back in 2013. “There is genuinely something very therapeutic about baking.”
Whether you believe the science or not, you have to admit that cookies are pretty powerful stuff. So the next time you’re feeling crappy, whip out your whisk.
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