Preheat Your Oven Now: The Unexpected Way Baking for Others Benefits YOU

Baking treats for your neighbor has scientifically proven benefits for you both. In fact, the baker may get the sweeter end of the deal! Find out why, then get a taste of some of our favorite giftable baked goods.

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You now have a scientific reason to stock up on butter and tear open a bag of chocolate chips. Baking is a creative form of meditation that cuts stress and communicates positive vibes nonverbally, according to The Huffington Post. Similar to art or music therapy, cooking therapy is a real phenomenon.

"Active meditation is when you are focused on an activity but able to experience it, rather than analyze it. Athletes call it being in the zone," says Howard Rankin, a retired psychologist who now writes about neuroscience and self-transformation at psychologywriter.com. To get the most benefits, however, Rankin says it's best to avoid multitasking while baking.

If you do, you'll be able to enjoy the meditative "flow." "Meditation has been shown to increase focus and attention while decreasing anxiety and depression," he says.

Focused baking is so therapeutic, in fact, a "Breaditation" class is now offered in London. Just think: A concrete step-by-step process (that includes kneading for aggression release), plus the ability to watch as ingredients transform into a beautiful finished product—what's not to love?

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Start Here: Our Best Giftable Baking Projects

Prepare to treat your friends and family—and yourself—by mixing up a batch of these ★★★★★ BH&G recipes.

Then Join the Master Class with Our Top Baking Tips

Ace the classics with these pro tips from the BH&G Test Kitchen:

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