By On Apr 03, 2018 Coloring for Adults
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to "explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem." So basically, its similar to good old therapy. (Dont think you need therapy? Here is why you should take a mental health day now) Yet art therapy is not only about learning and improving yourself — its a means of personal expression, too.
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. It can be particularly effective for people who arent comfortable with more creatively expressive forms of art, says Berberian, "My experience has been that those participants who are more guarded find a lot of tranquility in coloring an image. It feels safer and it creates containment around their process," she adds.
Despite the fact that coloring and art therapy arent quite the same thing, coloring does offer a slew of mental benefits. "Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness," says Berberian. 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.
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