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Color me happy! Coloring can improve focus and decrease anxiety

ColoringRemember when you were a child and you got a brand new box of crayons? Remember how happy and excited you were as you opened the box and saw all of those bright, beautiful colors?  Maybe it is time to start coloring again and relive that memory.  Your brain might thank you.
 
If you are looking for a simple, creative activity that will improve focus and decrease anxiety coloring may be for you.  Adult coloring has been trending lately but there may be more to it than just reliving a memorable childhood experience.  Many researchers and art therapists have been touting the act of coloring as good for mental function.  Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have even suggested coloring as an alternative to meditation.
 
In a CNN Health reportMarygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU states, "Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.
 
Groundbreaking research in 2005 proved anxiety levels dropped when subjects colored mandalas, which are round frames with geometric patterns inside. Simply doodling, though, had no effect in reducing the other subjects' stress levels.

Just like meditation, coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety."

A post titled 10 Benefits of Coloring Pages for Kids’ Psychology and Development" posted on Color Psychology.org lists the following:

1. Improves Motor Skills

2. Prepares Them for School

3. Stimulates Creativity

4. Contributes to Better Handwriting

5.Teaches Color Awareness, Recognition and Discernment

6. Improves Focus and Hand to Eye Coordination

7. Helps Learn about Boundaries, Structure and Spacial Awareness

8. Improves Confidence and Self Esteem

9. Helps Self-Expression

10. Is Therapy and Stress Relief

Consider setting aside some time for yourself, your children, or your clients to simply unplug, grab a coloring book, and enjoy!