Friday, January 8, 2016

Adult coloring books promise stress relief

Mandalas are more relaxing than other types of drawings.

Are you a multi-tasker? Do you experience a lot of stress in your life? Many of you are juggling one or more of the following: family/children, school, jobs. There's a relatively new way to help relieve your stress. It's actually been around for a few decades, but has only exploded on the scene in the U.S. this past year: adult coloring books.

According to a USA Today article, "Just a handful of small studies have looked at the psychological effects of coloring. In one published a decade ago, 84 college students took a test to measure baseline anxiety levels and then boosted those levels by writing about scary experiences."

"Right after that, they were randomly assigned to color a blank page, a plaid design or a mandala — an intricate circular pattern that, in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, represents the universe. Coloring the plaid or mandala patterns reduced their anxiety, while coloring a blank page did not. A follow-up study by other researchers found the same effect for mandalas but not for plaid patterns."

"There is something about the mandala that is particularly soothing for people," says Lacy Mucklow, an art therapist in Washington, D.C., and author of Color Me Calm, Color Me Happy, and Color Me Streefree, "guided coloring books" illustrated by artist Angela Porter and published by Race Point Publishing." 

For more information, click the link to read the entire article, "Adult coloring books promise stress relief". You can google "adult coloring books" to order the books online, though you can find them at most craft stores, book stores, and larger stores like WalMart, KMart, and Target. 

Not sure it's for you? Google free adult coloring books and find a few simple drawings to try it out. You can also click on the word "mandela" in the caption below the picture of a mandela at the top of this article. All you need are color pencils (recommended to allow easy coloring in the narrower spaces and, if you're so inclined, to add different techniques to your coloring like blending). You can also use markers or crayons, though the former can bleed through the page and the latter tends to be too thick for the intricate designs. Give it a try! You might be amazed at how relaxing it is.