With daily life becoming busier than ever, more and more young professionals are taking up activities, such as baking to help them relax and unwind. A recent YouGov survey, found that one in five UK millennials find baking a great way to cope with stress and anxiety.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

This year’s Great British Bake Off mirrors this rising trend as the series has its youngest ever group of contestants, with seven out of the thirteen being in their 20s and with 2.5 million of its audience reported to be aged between 16-34. Millennials and GenZ have transformed this age-old kitchen task into a hobby that is done for pleasure, creative expression and stress relief.

Headspace’s Chief Science Officer, Dr Megan Jones Bell outlines five reasons why baking can be a mindful activity to de-stress. 

Getting creative in the kitchen requires your full attention

Following the steps of a recipe encourages you to focus solely on the act of doing and allows your mind to let go of stressful thoughts that you may be worrying about. Baking is the perfect activity to help switch off, unwind and de-stress at the end of the day or a great way to set a calming mood for the weekend ahead. You can even try a Headspace meditation session prior to baking, to help reduce stress. 

Mindful rhythm

Baking can be a grounding and therapeutic experience. The repetitive actions and gentle rhythms you carry out when mixing or kneading relax the mind, which is a similar process to concentrating on your breath during guided meditation sessions. 

A feast for the senses

With the ingredients giving you something to taste, feel, smell and touch, it keeps your mind focused on your physical being and away from thoughts in your head. When the aromas of baking fill the house, they create a cosy and comforting environment perfect for you to unwind in.

An escape from devices

While we all enjoy the benefits of technology, a lot of us are becoming conscious of how much time we are spending looking at screens. Digital detoxes and retreats are on the up and there is a desire to spend less time scrolling through social media feeds and more time getting hands on and creative. Getting your hands messy with dough and flour literally create a physical barrier, so you can switch off from stressful emails or intrusive social media notifications. 

Baking is rewarding

Baking is an activity that has visible, quick and simple results that provide us with a feeling of achievement and satisfaction. In the unpredictability of today’s changing world, finding a task that allows you to be in control can be really beneficial to wellbeing.

Making something from scratch, that is wholesome and delicious can be very rewarding. Giving is at the heart of baking and the act of sharing is proven to be wonderful for mental wellbeing. Food is something that brings friends and family together and whether that’s through baking with loved ones or sharing cookies with friends, it’s a joyful experience. 

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