The number of TV cooking and baking shows airing across the US has never been higher – something that might be doing more for our health than you realise. And while it might be true to say that heavily-frosted cupcakes and fudge brownies aren’t exactly diet-friendly, the practice of baking itself has the potential to make us all that little bit happier.
One authority on the subject from the UK is Mr. John Whaite, who won a national baking competition last year and has since become a household name. He spoke of how the art of baking was one of the key contributors to his recovery from severe depression, enabling him to transform his negative feelings into delightful and delicious results.
The theory is that with baking, the individual taking part is gifted with an immediate result and reward for their efforts. What’s more, baking can be dipped in and out for a half-hour here and there, so doesn’t take the kind of dedication and commitment associated with other hobbies. Depression is known to make deep and long-term concentration difficult, which in turn makes baking an apparently ideal option.
And of course, the added reward of seeing others enjoying what you’ve made brings even more positivity to the process.
From a strictly medical or scientific perspective however, there is little evidence to suggest a direct link between baking and happiness. What has been proven conclusively though is the way in which taking part in an activity that has genuine structure is indeed a powerful combatant for depression and generally negative feelings – a box ticked by baking.
So despite whether there’s any measurable evidence as to if you can really bake yourself happy, it’s safe to say there’s far more benefit to be taken from a stint in the kitchen than just a sweet treat alone.