Art Therapy, Adult Coloring Books and Your Mental Health
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.”
The Health Benefits of Adult Coloring Books
Despite the fact that coloring and art therapy aren’t 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. 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.
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 aren’t comfortable with more creatively expressive forms of art. Now get coloring!
The South and North Campus Branch Libraries will have coloring stations with crayons and pages of science and medical related material for you to enjoy this month.
Download these free science and medical-related coloring books featured at the Library coloring tables this month:
- Cell Press Coloring with Cell
- Cell Press Color-In Comics: Neurons at Play
- The National Archives of the United States Coloring Book of Patents (2016)
- National Library of Medicine Digital Collection #ColorOurCollections
- New York Academy of Medicine Coloring Book of Collections