There are various excellent emotional and physical effects of drawing. Coloring is being applied as a substitute to meditation by anybody from the scientists at Johns Hopkins University to the Editors of Yoga Journal because it is so calming. But it is much more than that. Drawing is also a means of personal expression. For people who don’t like to create very expressive styles of art, like paintings, drawing can be a great way to express yourself. And for many people, it has become a way to heal the mind. There are many stories of healing from art. Here is one from a Weekly Reader publication about a girl with an eating disorder. “Mary, a teenage girl with an eating disorder, found it impossible to express her anger in words. One day in an art therapy class at a psychiatric hospital in Chicago, Mary was asked to create a mask showing her image of herself. Mary created a mask of a raging bull with a chain around its neck. Her art therapist asked her what the mask meant. Mary replied, "This is the part that will not allow me to eat." It was the first time Mary was able to express her anger in words. And she had done so first through art.” (Sheryl DeVore, Current Health 2, a Weekly Reader publication.)
There are many different patterns of art that can calm or relax you. Two are Zentangles and Mandalas. Zentangles are repetitive shapes that provide a therapeutic effect. Why draw them? The repeated motion of drawing or coloring in the many shapes of zentangles is helpful to a teen’s mental state even if they have no skill at drawing. But if zentangles seem too complicated for you, there are also mandalas. Mandalas are round shapes with many different shapes inside of them. Those too are very calming to draw or color in.