Mindfulness is nothing new—the practice dates back thousands of years. But this ancient technique has many modern benefits. According to the American Psychological Association, practicing mindfulness reduces stress, improves memory, heightens focus and can even improve your relationships. You can work to achieve this highly sought after Zen® state through meditation, yoga, tai chi, and… Crayola®?
You’ve probably seen adult coloring books in the magazine aisle at your supermarket. What seems like a leisurely nostalgic pastime can have as much of an effect on your mental clarity as your weekly fitness class. A study published by the American Art Therapy Association indicates that coloring mandalas and similarly complex designs reduces anxiety. And just like mindfulness itself, this whimsical offshoot isn’t merely a passing trend. Renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung first prescribed adult coloring to his patients in the early 1900s. He describes coloring mandalas as “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.”
So how does it work exactly? Research shows that coloring relaxes the amygdala, the “fear center” of your brain, bringing about a meditative state. In the simplest of terms, focusing on an easy activity like coloring stops the 24-hour news ticker of worries running through your mind. A perfect blend of logic and creativity light up both sides of the brain for some serious cerebral cardio.
Still skeptical of this childlike activity? Try for yourself and see! Find fun and free downloadable adult coloring pages at MondayMandala.com.