Relax your mind, body by coloring, doodling

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Painting by Crista Forest


When was the last time you picked up crayons and just sat down and colored?

Although you’re stressed out by a busy schedule, it may seem like a ridiculous waste of time, or it could be an opportunity to clear your mind, breathe deeply, and relax your neck, shoulders, and back.

During the month of May, Iowa marks Mental Health Awareness Month. Part of emotional well-being is a daily opportunity to engage our thoughts and feelings in a positive way.

Back to coloring. Research indicates that during coloring, different parts of your brain are activated as you choose colors and use your fine motor skills. Because you don’t have to think deeply about the actual coloring, your brain is free to ruminate other thoughts.

Coloring before bed can help you relax and get rid of troubling thoughts.

Coloring is not limited to coloring books. The creative thinking involved while drawing and doodling also promotes brain activity. Try crayons, crayons, markers, and even paint.

Free coloring pages for children and adults are available on the Crayola crayons website.

You can even use the back of the junk mail for coloring.

In combination with good nutrition, sleep, and exercise, a creative outlet, like coloring, promotes mental health.

Ann Cochran is the Health Navigation Coordinator at the Dallas County Department of Public Health.

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