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Using baking as a mindfulness & grounding technique
by TeenHelp December 22nd 2020, 05:45 AM

Using baking as a mindfulness & grounding technique
By Cassie (cynefin)

Baking is one of my favorite things to do. While I bake all sorts of foods, I primarily bake cookies as I have the most success with them. They are also not as difficult as other confections. A few weeks ago, I was baking some festive cookies from scratch and thinking about why I enjoy it so much. Baking is a great grounding technique, especially because it easily encompasses all five senses.

Next time you find yourself feeling disconnected, try spending some time in the kitchen and noting how you feel across all of your senses. Here are a few things to think about while you're working, alongside my own process.
  • Sight: What are you baking? What does it look like before, during, and after the baking process? Are you using food coloring or another nontraditional flavor that looks different and may capture your attention? If using baking chips, observe them before and after baking. Note the melting process. I made red velvet cookies with white chocolate chips. Once they were cooled, I frosted them and made them into sandwich cookies. The red and white chips are what kept my attention.
  • Touch: This is my favorite part of baking and it is what encouraged me to write this. At the time, I had been making cookies from scratch and the dough was too difficult to mix with a spoon, so I mixed it with my hands. The dough kept sticking to my fingers and I decided to dust them with flour to help this. Mix the dough with your hands if possible, or use your hands to roll it into cookie sized balls.
  • Auditory: Listen to the knob turning on your oven or toaster oven. Can you hear any sizzling or bubbling while your treat is baking? Listen to the timer beep when it goes off or the sound of you moving the pan when the baking is done. I cracked an egg or two for my cookies and listened to the sound of that, as well as felt the consistency of the egg and shells when I threw them away.
  • Smell: Baking fills the room, or sometimes the whole house, with a delightful smell. What does it smell like? Can you smell specific notes throughout your home? Also pay attention to scent while you're getting ready to bake. If you use an extract, for example, you can smell that.
  • Taste: This one is obvious, but taste what you've made! Taste it slowly and pay attention to the way your food feels in your mouth or on your taste buds. After frosting mine, I tried them twice: once with the frosting at room temperature, and once after they were refrigerated.

When practicing grounding or mindfulness techniques, it can be hard to target several senses at once. Perhaps you'd prefer only one sense, and that's okay. It can also be fun to try a few senses together, though, and that is what baking or cooking allows you to do. One activity with so many benefits. Bon Appetit!
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