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How does coloring help reduce anxiety?

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Curious fact: The first variation of coloring books appeared in 1612, when people began to color books with colorless illustrations.

You certainly remember coloring as a kid, and we’re sure you enjoyed it. Unfortunately, as we grow up, we stop doing this activity, without realizing the enormous power it has when helping us cope with the pressure and stress of adult life, which often generates anxiety. This week we celebrate National Coloring Book Day, and although it may seem childish to you, coloring is a highly accessible activity for everyone, whether you have artistic experience or not, and can have enormous mental health benefits.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a very common emotion in people, as it is normal to get restless every now and then, and it is especially present when we are under stress. Needless to say, stress is very normal at any stage of life, but especially when we are adults, thanks to so many debts, payments, work or family problems, which can lead to this feeling, which is temporary. 

However, there are also anxiety disorders, which are characterized by disproportionate overwhelming feelings of uneasiness for those who suffer from them. Some experts consider that, if symptoms persist for more than six months, anxiety becomes a disorder, which makes it impossible for the patient to function properly and normally in social, work, or school environments.

Boy and computer

Symptoms of axienty disorders

Each person is different, which means that the symptoms may also vary depending on the patient. However, all anxiety disorders may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Uncontrollable feelings of distress
  • Stress that interferes with your daily life (e.g., not doing certain things because of the restlessness you feel)
  • Restlessness that persists and even worsens as time goes by
  • Tachycardia
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in behaviour

If you identified with the above list, we recommend that you seek psychological help from experts, as it is important that you receive treatment to maintain good mental health.


Fortunately, there is treatment to help people with anxiety disorders:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This treatment is carried out through psychotherapy in which the patient is taught to deal with everything that generates anxiety in the best way.
  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe anxiolytics to suppress the symptoms of anxiety or even antidepressants.

Treating anxiety is extremely important, as symptoms may worsen over time if untreated.

Colored pencils

Advantages of coloring for people with anxiety

Many people choose complementary therapies when they have anxiety. A technique that has proven to be effective against the symptoms of anxiety and stress is coloring, because it is proven that this activity is healthy for our well-being, which is why it is a good idea for children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly.

First, it relaxes the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls fear, helping you to be present in the moment and put negative thoughts aside.

On the other hand, it also helps lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Frequent coloring can even modify the brain to create a natural resilience to stress, so you can then cope with stress in a much better way.

It also helps us to focus on one thing at a time and get rid of any unpleasant feelings we may be experiencing, creating a meditating-like effect as it disconnects us from our worries.

Other benefits

This fun activity not only benefits us in terms of mental health, but also helps us with the following points:

  • It enhances our motor skills and abilities because coloring requires both hemispheres of our brain
  • Improves our vision
  • It helps us get better sleep, because unlike tablets or phones, it does not emit any light that disturbs melatonin levels.
  • It helps reduce dependance on electronic devices, as coloring will keep you busy for a while
  • Among others.
Sleeping boy

What can I draw to reduce its symptoms?

This activity has proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and stress, so you don’t want to, and it’s not recommended, draw things that awake unpleasant feelings in you. The most recommended options are the following:

  • Draw mandalas, which have been used as spiritual elements and for meditation in several cultures, and which have been shown to potentiate the positive effects of coloring.
  • It is also recommended to color geometric shapes.
  • Another good idea is to color landscapes with lots of nature, as this helps us feel calmer. It is also recommended to draw landscapes with bodies of water.

Real story

Sammy Pryor is an American citizen who went through an abusive marriage in which she suffered domestic violence. Fortunately, she managed to get out of this relationship, however, she later faced legal proceedings to ensure her peace of mind, which caused anxiety and panic attacks. In consultation with her specialist, she recommended buying coloring books for adults. By carrying out this activity, she noticed that she managed to decrease the symptoms of her anxiety, which worsens when she is alone. This is how Sammy confirmed that this activity is very useful for people with anxiety and stress. Listen to her testimony here:

Health insurance

It is well known that taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of the body. Therefore, in BYBS we want to help you have a healthy mind and live your life to the fullest. Take care of your mind and body while we look after your integrity, finding and building coverages that best suit you. For more information visit our website, where you will find the different coverages we offer. We have guaranteed approval coverage, which allows you to enroll regardless of your health status, or for those who do not qualify for public health insurance. ( 316-4503 


As we grow up and navigate through the different stages of our lives, we begin to take on more responsibilities, and if anxiety and stress are common even as kids, this only makes the situation worse. It is extremely important to find a way to free ourselves from this and the negative and unpleasant feelings that it generates, and a very good idea is to resume an activity that we all did and enjoyed as children: COLORING. Believe it or not, scientists back this up: coloring has benefits for everyone regardless of age! Give yourself the opportunity to do it, and you will surely notice changes in the way you deal with situations that cause you anxiety and stress.

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