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Coloring is good for your health

Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

What used to be known as a simple, fun activity for kids now is a tool for practicing good mental health. Coloring has increased in popularity recently, especially for adults.

While children's coloring books feature cartoon characters and simple designs, adult coloring books have intricate patterns of flowers, artwork, mandalas or animals. Books are available for purchase, and you can print free coloring pages online. For people who prefer a digital version, many coloring apps are available for mobile devices.

But what makes adult coloring so popular?

Coloring can improve your health by:

Promoting mindfulness

Coloring can help you be more mindful. Mindfulness is the ability to focus and stay in the moment.

 

For example, because you're focusing on color choice and staying inside the lines, you're only thinking about the present moment. You can shut off the noise around you, and give your mind the gift of focusing on the movements, sensations and emotions of your present moment.

Practice being nonjudgmental as you go through the task with no expectations — just being in the moment. If your mind wanders, which is normal, gently return to what you are experiencing right now. While coloring, you use the parts of your brain that enhance focus and concentration. It gives you the opportunity to disconnect from stressful thoughts.

Relieving stress

Coloring is a healthy way to relieve stress. It calms the brain and helps your body relax. This can improve sleep and fatigue while decreasing body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety.

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