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  • Writer's pictureoaksfamilycounseli

Feeling Stressed? Pick up a Crayon or Marker!

Do you remember feelings stressed or anxious while coloring as a child? No? I didn't either, but I mentioned this to a friend today and was surprised when he responded that coloring was a horrible experience when he was a child. He has trouble with his color vision and once colored Santa's suit green, which did not go over well with his classmates!! Aside from situations like these, coloring can be very relaxing, especially for adults.

Research has shown that coloring can significantly reduce anxiety and stress and increase mindfulness in adults and teens. Any coloring can help but the most beneficial pages to color are mandalas and repetitive patterns. And the important part... with these patterns you can use any colors you want and no one will laugh!

When my daughter was badly injured in a car accident, at age 16, she received more than a dozen adult coloring books as gifts, with an array of crayons, markers and colored pencils. She could only color for a few minutes at a time in the beginning, but she always looked forward to carefully choosing just the right color as if she were working on an intricate art piece. You could see the peace come over her and she was "transported" away from the hospital room as she colored. I think it took her over a month to complete her first picture! She was so proud of it and we hung it up like her kindergarten artwork. She still has coloring books left and pulls them out when she's sick, during college exams, or any other time she's feeling a little overwhelmed or anxious. I don't hang her pictures up on the fridge anymore (but that's only because she hasn't asked me)!!

The next time you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, take some time to sit down and color, and see if it helps you! Here is a link with some mandalas to download or you can find your own patterns online or books in almost any store. :-)

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Recently, I've had several requests for information on resources so I wanted to share it here, too!


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