Are you stressed out? Feeling anxious? Blue? Unfortunately, this is a common state that many people find themselves in every day. Life can be hard. There are competing demands of work, school, family, friends, homelife, bills to pay, errands to run. Sometimes it seems like the world never stops or even slows down. So what’s the solution? While it won’t solve all your problems, pushing pause and taking a moment to destress can certainly help. Of course, there are many ways to do this, but one of the simplest, and (in my opinion) most fun ways to take a mental break is something you are already familiar with: coloring.
Coloring has been shown to be helpful to reduce stress and anxiety for several reasons. First, coloring promotes mindfulness. While you are coloring you aren’t focusing on the future or worrying about the past. Instead you are firmly grounded in the here and now, selecting colors and filling in the spaces. In fact, some research suggests that coloring can have similar effects to meditation, and for those who find mediation difficult it can offer an easier alternative. Additionally, the repetitive motion required for coloring can be soothing.
Preliminary research as well as anecdotal evidence also suggests that certain colors can cause you to feel different emotions. For example, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow often make people feel happy. Cooler colors such as blue and green often promote relaxation and calm. Because of this, the color palette you choose to use can also add additional benefits to coloring.
While there are many commercially available coloring books for teens and adults on every topic from gardening to animals to the latest TV show, many coloring pages available for free online. Here are 18 to get you started. They range from simple to complex and are designed to promote mediation and relaxation.
If you would like to read more about the benefits of coloring see this article.
This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett