Fact or Myth: Is Coloring an Effective Anti-Stress Strategy?

This is FACT.

According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is killing you. Literally. It’s noted as the basic leading cause of 60% of all human illness and disease, and stress-related illnesses are responsible for 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits. But there’s a new anti-stress technique taking center stage, a favorite childhood activity that has evolved into a popular adult pastime. Coloring…and it’s saturating the world with, well, color and stress-free living!

How Coloring Lowers Stress Coloring

Famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung regularly recommended coloring to patients as a way to lower stress and calm emotions, and doctors to this day still suggest it. The health effects extend beyond the mental. When you color, you are strengthening your fine motor skills and nurturing a creative mindset.

Speaking to Fox News Health, New York-based clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis explains that coloring is a structure activity and so turns on the logic part of your brain. “Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a bit, a little bit of a rest,” Michaelis said, “and it ultimately has a really calming effect over time.”

Coloring cultivates mindfulness because it requires you to concentrate on one activity in the present moment, which in turn decreases stress, improves memory, reduces emotional reactivity, and enhances cognitive flexibility.

And now, you no longer have to steal a page out of your child’s coloring book. Adult coloring books are the latest trend, and even appearing on bestseller lists! You could probably find a local coloring club, or start one on your own, and get together with likeminded people to de-stress over some coloring art and a healthy cocktail.