How well do anti stress coloring books work to relieve stress?
Coloring books have become an extremely popular form of stress relief throughout the US, Europe, and the U.K. But are they really effective at relieving stress, or are they just the newest fad? There have been several studies that have shown the different ways that coloring books actually do relieve stress and promote happiness.
Coloring reduces amygdala activity.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that is responsible for our stress response. It creates the fight or flight response when we perceive that we are in some sort of dangerous situation. Unfortunately, in our modern lives many of our normal experiences are perceived by our brain as being dangerous situations, from driving in traffic, to looking at our list of deadlines, to watching TV. No wonder we are so stressed out all the time!
Coloring has been shown to reduce amygdala activity. This causes a lowering in our levels of cortisol and adrenaline, two important hormones that cause us to be stressed and over-excited. This causes a significant reduction in stress that is visible in brain scans.
Coloring reduces anxiety.
Other studies have examined how people feel, both after one coloring session and after having a daily coloring practice. People feel less anxious immediately after coloring, even for the first time, indicating that coloring can be an effective short-term strategy when you are stressed out and need to relax. More importantly, people also felt less anxious all the time when they had been engaged in coloring activities over time. This indicates that coloring may even retrain your brain to be calmer and have less stress.
Coloring gives you the same brain activity as meditating.
Comparing brain scans of people coloring and people meditating, it is clear that coloring causes the brain to produce the same activity that meditating does. More studies have been done on people meditating than on people coloring, and those studies would have to be replicated on coloring to be able to say with certainty that coloring gives the same positive benefits as meditating does. There is anecdotal evidence though, that coloring has similar benefits to meditation. And as a bonus, you get a beautiful picture out of it!
If you are ready to stop stressing and start coloring, order one of our books today! We have a wide variety of wonderful coloring books for all artistic tastes and all levels of ability. Or if you can’t wait to start coloring and you want to break out your colored pencils right away, we’ll even send you a free PDF of one of our books! Just sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send it straight to your email.