Can baking bread help anxiety?
Like many people I’ve come to realise that I suffer from anxiety. It comes in periods, often caused from a work or social pressure that drains me. Recently I have found that baking bread is a great way to deal with anxiety.
Why I suffer with anxiety
There’s usually something in my life that I just don’t know how to deal with. Recently at work I’ve undergone a 6 month secondment with the promise that if I do well, I’ll get the role. It’s been hell. Bring constantly “offered support” or “given development feedback” and all those buzz words. I felt more under pressure to succeed.
Previous reasons have been struggling with getting a partner, struggling to leave a partner, money, running a business and feeling like I’ve not achieved enough in life.
How anxiety impacts me
It wasn’t until the past 12 months when I realised that I do struggle with anxiety. Before this I thought it was normal to feel the need for two bottles of wine after a crap day.
As I’ve matured and like many I have tried to move away from the traditional British drinking culture, replacing it with the gym.
But without drinking alcohol these nerves hit me whilst enduring a stressful period. They caused me to write off entire days.
Once I realised that I suffer from anxiety I could do something to make it better.
My top tips on dealing with anxiety
- Don’t touch alcohol. This prolongs the feeling and makes you feel a lot worse the following day. You can’t reflect properly, nor sleep so it’s best avoided at all costs.
- Allow some reflection time. Take some time out to think about your problem. How can it be resolved or be better managed?
- Do you need to approach life or relationships a different way? Letting people down is a big cause of anxiety for many people. Consider putting the pressure away from you and onto others? Could you ask for support?
- Have honest conversations with those around you about your problems. Be it a partner, friend or work colleague, chances are if you are open with them they will support you.
- Do some rewarding light exercise. This is where kneading dough comes in for me. Slapping dough around for 10-15 minutes is good exercise. It combines strengthening my arm muscles with a bit of aerobic exercise.
I think it’s important to look at all the tips when trying to deal with anxiety. If bread baking does excite you then check out more bread baking tips on the site.
Suffering with anxiety is tough, I’m proud to say I often struggle. It’s a lot more common than I was previously led to believe.
In some ways, caring about what I’m doing is probably a good thing?
Written by Gareth
"I'm sharing my love of artisan bread baking with others"