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Social worker says coloring books an alternative to meditation for adults

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Posted at 9:52 PM, Feb 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 23:52:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- If you think coloring books are just for kids, think again.

As FOX 13 News’ Max Roth tells us, adults are taking to coloring as a way to meditate and clear their minds.

"It's a stress reliever for me, it makes me happy,” said Lisa Moos.

Moos is a self-described "color enthusiast” from Payson who said there are some days she can't wait to get home to her coloring books and pens.

"After a very stressful day at work, dealing with cranky people, I will come home and I will sit on my couch and I will just color,” Moos said. “My kids kind of leave me alone when I’m coloring, they just know that I’m just, kind of like decompressing."

There is science behind adult coloring, as studies show it seems to connect a person with their senses.

"Taking a pencil, a marker, a crayon and actually putting it to paper helps a person ground in the moment, and seems to help pull them out of their head, where they may be sitting, worrying, pining over bills etc,” said Jason Conover, a licensed clinical social worker at Utah Valley Hospital.

Conover said he sees coloring as an alternative to meditation.

"Actually helping people quiet the mind, so that they can be a little bit more still, and that seems to help with anxiety and other kinds of problems where we're just too active in our minds,” he said.

Adult coloring books don't qualify as art therapy, but they can help people focus, and in that way reduce anxiety.

“I think it's just being able to zone out, and just do it and not have anybody bugging you,” Moos said.