Mental health is important at every stage of life, influencing or controlling the way we think, feel, and act. But more global attention is still needed to raise awareness of mental health in the initial stage, highlighting the seriousness of its consequences, according to the Boldsky website.
Mental health determines the ways in which each person relates to others, how they deal with stressful situations, and their ability to make decisions in life inevitably.
To this day, there are still many cases of reluctance to get help when necessary despite all the awareness and stigma breaking around mental health problems. Experts hope that the importance of mental health awareness and timely treatment for especially necessary cases will be highlighted.
Baking for psychological well-being
Efforts to maintain good mental health include a combination of positive behaviour, a healthy diet and regular habits. Studies have shown that people who engage in hobbies they love have a lower risk of stress and depression. Mental health hobbies range from listening to music, volunteering in charitable organizations and gardening, to stamp collecting, cooking and baking.
When you focus your mind on an activity you really care about, it helps provide an unparalleled level of engagement, reduces stress, improves feelings of anxiety or depression, and improves participation in social events. Baking, as a hobby, helps improve mental health, with benefits including increased alertness, contentment, and sensory pleasure.
When followed as a form of behavioral activation (helping us understand how our behavior affects our feelings), baking has been shown to help bakers with depression and other mood disorders. During the Corona pandemic, the number of bakers has increased. Experts attribute the reason to the increased tension and anxiety caused by the curfew, then the closure, and the general conditions that prevailed in the world. According to a British study, one in three Britons turns to baking to help them de-stress after a busy day at work, while 61% said that sharing baked goods with others makes them feel happier.
Benefits of creative projects
1. Bread can reduce stress and anxiety. Bread has been shown to help reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine. High levels of stress hormones can cause sleep problems, lowered immunity, and high blood pressure. When levels of stress hormones decrease, one simultaneously reduces anxiety and stress to the body. Many already find daily household chores like washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, or preparing vegetables as a way to relax and a way to calm their mind. A study confirmed that individuals who participate in small creative projects such as cooking and baking feel more motivated about their activities.
2. Bread helps to enhance self-confidence while some doubt one’s own capabilities and abilities from time to time. When a person takes up the hobby of baking for himself and his family or as a gift for other people, he sets himself an achievable goal.
Behavioral activation is a treatment used to treat those who suffer from anxiety and depression. This method is a way to combat skepticism and low mood by increasing productivity in a realistic and achievable way.
3. Bread can contribute to improving creativity, as the use of creative energy reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, and improves mental and physical health in general. The average person has an estimated 6000 thoughts per day, so a creative activity like baking can help focus the mind by calming the brain and body. Creativity goes beyond calm to happiness in many cases. Engaging in creative activity is likely to reduce symptoms of dementia and improve memory and cognitive abilities.
4. The hobby of baking helps build relationships. Group participation in baking activities can help build social growth through shared interests and common goals. Baking helps develop a person’s ability to socialize, make friends, and learn skills that will help them interact more effectively. Baking with family, friends, or organized groups can provide people with an opportunity to connect with others, reducing feelings of isolation and exclusion. Solitude is not healthy because it can lead to or deepen feelings of depression. When you’re feeling down, baking with others can turn those negative feelings into a positive one. Feelings of security, trust, and belonging increase when connecting with friends and family. These feelings can help form a strong and healthy relationship. And people can still feel a sense of support and belonging when they largely share a slice of cake or a cup of tea.
5. It has also been proven that baking can be beneficial to physical health in terms of being a physical activity that reduces stress, anger and depression and improves overall mental and physical health. Not only does bread help emotionally, but it also helps improve physical health by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. In fact, more than 200 calories can be burned by baking.