Color for Calm 

I’m very excited to announce that I will be celebrating National Coloring Day this year by partnering up with Healthline in their Color for Calm contest. The contest is meant to shine a light on mental health by promoting the therapeutic effects of coloring for stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Starting on August 2nd, you can participate in the contest by downloading one of four coloring pages at the link below. Simply color, snap a pic, and tag Lacy Mucklow – Art Therapist and Author and Healthline on Facebook to be considered!
I am one of 12 judges, and entries may begin on August 2nd, National Coloring Day. All entries must be submitted by midnight on August 30th. Winners will win prizes, some of which include one of my coloring books!

If you’d like to learn more about how drawing, coloring, and creating can make a positive impact on mental health, read on!

The Health Benefits of Art

Research shows that drawing, coloring, and other fine motor activities help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the fight or flight response, easing stress and unleashing creativity. Studies suggest that painting pictures, making music, sewing skirts, or creating cakes can have the following positive benefits for mental health.

A study called “ The Influence of Art Making on Anxiety: A Pilot Study ” suggests that a little time working on art can significantly reduce a person’s state of anxiety. Another study indicates that art allows people to forget about their condition for a while, allowing them to focus on the positive things in their life.

Being wholly focused on a craft project can have an effect similar to meditation, which research suggests can help in the management of anxiety and depression. Increased happiness
Dopamine is a chemical associated with the reward center in your brain. Among other things, it provides feelings of enjoyment to help you start or continue doing certain activities.

A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that people with depression are lacking in dopamine. Crafting is a non-medicinal way to stimulate dopamine, which ultimately makes you feel happy. In a study of 3,500 knitters, researchers found that 81 percent of knitters with depression perceived that knitting made them feel happier.

More and more, research like the above is indicating that art, crafts, and coloring are an effective tool for promoting happiness and overall well-being.

If you’re ready to give it a try, check out Healthline’s coloring pages and Get Coloring!


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