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Coloring for Mindfulness and Stress Relief

You may have seen "adult" coloring books catching on in recent years and wondered how the simple act of coloring could relax the brain. The "simple" part of the activity is actually exactly what helps the brain in this mindful practice!

When you color:

  1. Attention flows away from ourselves. A simple act, such as coloring, takes your attention away from yourself (and those things that are stressing you out!) and onto the present-moment event.

  2. It relaxes the brain. When thoughts are focused on this simple activity, your brain tends to relax. You focus your awareness away from self-appraisal and judgment and allow your mind a break from the many stressors it handles throughout the day.

  3. Low stakes make it pleasurable. Go ahead: color outside the lines! The outcome of coloring isn’t predictable or prescriptive. It can be as neat — or as messy — as you choose, and this is one of its relaxing perks. Coloring can be a wonderful escape, rather than a demanding test of our capacities.

Interested in trying this out for yourself? Here are some free printable stress-relieving coloring resources for you to check out:

Here are pages designed for kids and adults alike:

Additional Reading:


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