If you’re looking for tips on bread baking check this out.

I thought that I had all of the right tools to take care of my mental health. I do yoga, get outside frequently, meditate and cook my own food. However, after months of feeling rather blasé and sometimes off-kilter throughout my routine, I could tell that it was time to find a hobby. As someone who often finds things worth my time only if they’re considered “productive” by society’s standards, this was no small feat.

I was speaking with my friend and discussing the ongoing mental health crisis that we find ourselves in when she said something I will never forget. “That’s why so many people are going back to old-fashioned practices like baking bread—we’ve lost touch with the simple practices that have grounded us for centuries.”

What I kneaded

For years, I longed to make bread but never thought it fit my image or that I would be very good at it. But, as soon as she said those words, I started thinking about dough. Four internet searches later, I found a simple peasant bread recipe that made my heart—and hands—sing. 

Something about working with earthy ingredients like flour and water then watching the dough rise calms me on a deep level. Not to mention, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven harkens back to a time when life was simpler and those small joys didn’t get drowned out by car horns or angry people on social media. 

That day set off a whirlwind in my kitchen and I baked eight loaves of bread in three weeks. Giving them to my friends and family made me so happy—all I wanted to do was share homemade, stabilizer-free bread that many hadn’t tasted in decades. 

Some hadn’t tasted homemade bread in their entire lives. There’s something special about reintroducing people to a food that’s so natural; even if they’ve never eaten it, it’s like their body remembers the feeling of tasting freshly baked bread. 

You might knead it too

There’s some science to the mental uplift I experienced as well. Last year, as the pandemic dawned, grocery stores ran out of yeast because so many people wanted to bake bread. 

When modern life gets a little too modern and more than slightly unnerving, putting your hands into the dough that you’ve created can be incredibly soothing. 

Psychology Today explains that our bodies and minds may remember this sensation from the time periods before productivity ruled the roost. In a way, working with bread is similar to interacting with the natural world. Simple ingredients, simple recipes and simple activities can draw our mental state into a place of relaxation. 

For me, pulling a gorgeous loaf of bread out of my oven floods my heart with pride. In fact, studies have shown that small creative projects like these contribute to an overall feeling of improvement and forward motion in your life. At a time when I felt stagnant, watching my bread rise seemed like an important symbol. As it rose, so did I. 

If the world has gotten a little too loud for you lately, a bag of flour and lukewarm water may offer the solace you seek. In this case, don’t think; just bake.

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About Paige Pichler

Paige Pichler is a writer, speaker, Project HEAL National Ambassador and yoga instructor. She writes about wellness, higher consciousness and health trends for a better life.

View all posts by Paige Pichler