When you are stressed , food is not necessarily the answer. Well, not eating it anyway. Baking is very therapeutic and it is also a creative outlet. From breads to pies there are many ways to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, be less dependent on others, be creative, and relieve depression.
I have found when I am stressed or angry I like to make some sort of bread. You can take your frustrations out on the dough. It is very therapeutic to have to knead the dough. I also find it enjoyable cutting the shapes in the dough.
If I am feeling creative then I will make a pie, cupcakes or cookies. With all of these items you can make variations to the recipes to make your own recipe; or you can follow the recipe and let the creativity come later. Slight variations or substitutions will still give you the same taste. If you elect to not change the recipe then your creativity can come in decorating. There are cupcake and cookie masterpieces that have their own show. The best thing about decorating is there is no wrong way. If it does not come out right, well then you have a sweet treat for the next attempt. Just don’t get carried away or you will spoil your dinner.
When I bake I also feel a sense of independency. Every choice I make is up to me. Do I add this ingredient, do I frost or glaze, or do I want a top crust? Every decision you make while baking is your own. The recipe may already be typed up with instructions to follow, but do you really want to leave those cookies in there so they are not soft in the center? Do you want a cherry flavor instead of vanilla? Do you want low fat or traditional?
Now that I have all of these goodies I cannot possibly eat them all for myself. So here is what I do. I will make tins or baskets of the goodies that I have baked and distribute them to neighbors, family and friends. Once they receive them, they will thank you and possibly when returning the tin or basket you may even receive a compliment on your baking. There is nothing better to lift the spirits than a compliment.
All in all, baking is very therapeutic for me. The end result is usually delicious and sometimes smiles back if I want it to.