The newest trend in stress relief is something you’ve definitely tried before. It’s not expensive and you don’t have to leave your house or get dressed. You can do this activity almost anywhere – in your bed, while you watch TV in your favorite chair, at the airport during travel, or in the car (when someone else is driving).
Have you guessed it? It’s coloring!
Perhaps you’ve seen these coloring books in stores or at a friend’s house. They often involve more details and complexity than a children’s coloring book and the pictures are focused toward adults (abstract Mandarin designs, famous architectural landmarks, etc.)
Research suggests that hospital patients exposed to artistic pursuits often have shorter hospital stays and reduced stress and anxiety. The problem is that many people don’t feel artistic enough – or simply don’t have the time – to create something from scratch themselves. Coloring books are an easy way to scratch the creative itch that people have, and incorporate art and color into their lives. Plus, similar to meditation, coloring can help people slow their minds for a period of time.
Coloring is, of course, also a great activity for kids. And can easily be incorporated into your classroom. Mandalas, which have been increasing in popularity as part of adult coloring books, are a really great design for kids to color as well. A mandala is a geometric shape that ancient science claims is the pattern created by interlocking spheres that forms the matrix of all universal matter.
A 2005 study from the American Journal of Art Therapy found that college kids who colored a mandala or other geometric pattern, versus a doodle of their own, had reduced levels of stress and anxiety. Because mandalas are abstract, and not a design with a set structure or color scheme (such as a landscape or holiday scene), kids are free to use their imagination. There is no wrong way to color a mandala.
Sites like Amazon.com have tons of books featuring mandalas and other geometric designs, as do local crafting stores like Michael’s and Pat Catans. There are also websites where you can download images for free, such as www.mandalacoloringmeditation.com and http://www.coloring-pages-adults.com/.
You can also download and print this free Today is going to be awesome coloring page from Creative Coloring Inspirations!
Sometimes the best things in life are also the simplest.
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