Are you stress baking in 2020?

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Are you stress baking in 2020?
Are you stress baking in 2020?
11-04-2020 03:00 pm
(CNET, 2020) Ever had one of those really inconvenient Amish Friendship Bread starters? It's fun in theory but the thought of having to bake bread every week (especially on a busy schedule) seems daunting. 

Nevertheless, there I was, peddling my friendship bread starters to my coworkers, trying to find someone who will literally take the bread off my hands. I didn't realize at the time that my need for baking was problably symptomatic of stress baking. Before the novelty wore off, I baked bread during quarantine and gave it away to people. Once things started to open up again, I had to throw the starter away. 

In 2020, stress baking has become even more of a thing than it already was. People all over social media are posting pictures of their latest gluten masterpieces. Since we couldn't do anything else during lockdown, people were looking for something to do. But why baking? 

Turns out, there's psychology behind it. Baking is a coping mechanism. Even just saying that you're stress baking (which I did often) shows an element of self-awareness. 

Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation for the American Psychological Association says that there are several reasons baking is a solid way to cope. For one, it's a distraction - you can't doom scroll when your hands are covered in cookie batter. Baking also involves your whole body: touch, taste, and smell. Your brain is occupied following a recipe and your muscles are kneading and rolling. 

When you get to the finished product, you get to eat it. "It's either going to have carbs like bread, or it's going to have sweetness like candies and cookies," Wright says. "We know those have a neurobiological aspect where they trigger parts of our brain that then trigger happy feelings."

Stress baking involves stress eating, but with a hint of self-accomplishment. Baking and eating isn't all bad. For one, it's not processed and you're moving around instead of staring at a screen. If you find yourself baking in your sparetime more than usual in 2020, think to yourself - "am I stress baking?"


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