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How can colouring books benefit your health?


How can colouring books benefit your health?   

Turns out, kids have had it right all along. Colouring in books are good for your health. And a new study suggests that putting pencil to paper can reduce stress and even cortisol levels.
Published in ‘Art Therapy’ journal, the study found that making art such as colouring in, drawing, painting, and modeling, can help your health regardless of your natural talents and experiences.
“It wasn’t surprising because that’s the core idea in art therapy: Everyone is creative and can be expressive in the visual arts when working in a supportive setting,” said study co-author Dr Girija Kaimal.
“That said, I did expect that perhaps the effects would be stronger for those with prior experience.”
In the study, 39 healthy adults were asked to make art for 45 minutes. They provided saliva samples before and after the session (to measure cortisol – the stress hormone), and submitted written responses about their experience.
Incredibly, a full 75 percent of participants had lower cortisol levels after the art session.
As the study abstract reported, “Results indicate that art making resulted in statistically significant lowering of cortisol levels. Participants' written responses indicated that they found the art-making session to be relaxing, enjoyable, helpful for learning about new aspects of self, freeing from constraints, an evolving process of initial struggle to later resolution, and about flow/losing themselves in the work.
Participants also said that the session “evoked a desire to make art in the future.”
Interestingly, some participants had increased cortisol or stress responses after making art.
As Dr Kaimal explained, “Some amount of cortisol is essential for functioning. For example, our cortisol levels vary throughout the day—levels are highest in the morning because that gives us an energy boost to us going at the start of the day.”
“It could’ve been that the art-making resulted in a state of arousal and/or engagement in the study’s participants.”
So if you’ve been feeling stressed, why not pick up a pencil and a colouring book - or join an art therapy class - and see if it helps you feel calmer and re-balanced.

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