A creative way to relieve stress
Find out why so many adults are enjoying coloring as a way to de-stress and reduce anxiety.
Many adults are discovering that coloring is as soothing and relaxing for grown-ups as it is for kids. Coloring brings you into the moment and helps you unwind after a long day, making it a heart-healthy pastime. It's also creative and fun.
When you color, you can turn off much of the extra noise in your life and focus your thoughts on the task at hand. Coloring also gives you an easy way to express your creativity – and you can do it even if you're not a talented artist. All you have to do is stay within the lines.
Many adult coloring books feature intricate designs, such as mandalas – round frames with geometric patterns inside. While completing these designs requires a fairly high level of concentration, most find it to be a calming and soothing experience. In fact, research shows that anxiety levels dropped in people who colored mandalas, although simple doodling had no effect on reducing stress levels.
Activity in your amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for easing anxiety and stress, is affected when you color. This may be why coloring is helpful to patients who are stressed, depressed or recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Here are 3 reasons why coloring is good for adults:
- Keeps you focused on a task. When you concentrate on coloring a picture, it keeps you in the moment.
- Distracts you from negative thoughts. Your mind is on color and intricate designs, making it less likely that you'll circle back to free-floating thoughts of difficult situations or memories.
- Connects you to your creative process. You'll get a chance to express yourself.
Ready to give coloring a try?
Of course, you can just pick up your kids' coloring books and crayons, but you'll find that colored pencils provide more precision and cleaner lines. Coloring books designed for adults have more interesting themes and patterns. To reduce stress, look for books that include mandalas or geometric shapes.