Can baking make you happy?
From chocolate brownies to cakes and cookies, baking is often associated with comfort foods — and now a new British movement claims that the simple act of baking could help lift you out of a depression.
The Independent in the UK reports that baking could emerge “as a form of pill-less Prozac,” at least according to John Whaite, last year’s winner of the hit UK television series “The Great British Bake Off.” In a report issued Monday for Real Bread Campaign, a nonprofit organization promoting artisan baking, Whaite calls for more people “suffering from mental health issues, or who are simply going through a tough time, to get the chance to try their hand at baking real bread to see how it could help them.”
Whaite, who was diagnosed with manic depression eight years ago, told the BBC: “Baking helps lift my depression. It can’t cure it but it helps.”
“When I’m in the kitchen, measuring the amount of sugar, flour, or butter I need for a recipe or cracking the exact number of eggs — I am in control. That’s really important as a key element of my condition is a feeling of no control.”
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Baking is not like that. Once its in the oven, you cannot pull it out and add salt or baking soda and expect the output to be great. What you can do is prepare the ingredients and follow the procedure correctly, set the oven’s temperature right and the output would be great. But that is not how life is. Life’s process is not like inside the oven wherein its in a tight box. No other factors except temperature that affects it. In life, even if you have followed everything correctly, there are other external factors you are not aware about that might surprise you.
For me, baking helps in such a way that if life gives me crap, I can make it less crappy by making beautiful and delicious treats!