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Grab Markers and Color Your Way to Calm

Even if you don’t consider yourself “artistically inclined,” it might be time to get out the markers, paints or clay. According to a new study in the journal Art Therapy, making art has been shown to lower levels of stress hormone, no matter what skill level we possess.


In the study, 39 adults were simply supplied with an array of art supplies such as collage materials, markers and clay, and asked to get creative in any way they liked for 45 minutes. Saliva levels of the stress hormone cortisol were measured before and after the exercise.


Despite the fact that a good chunk of the participants said their experience making art was pretty limited, 75 percent of them saw a drop in their cortisol. What’s more, many of the participants described the art-making session as relaxing, enjoyable and a way to lose themselves in something.


So if setting aside some time to write, draw, mess with clay, or paint can help mitigate high cortisol levels, then even the most basic artistic endeavors are well worth the effort.


Check out these coloring books with round mandalas that lend themselves to easy, calming coloring.