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The new way to blitz pre-wedding stress

Forget the meditation apps, 30-day yoga challenges and exxy facials - stopping pre-wedding stress in its tracks is as simple as paying your local newsagent a visit.
Next time you get a text from your mum asking to add yet another random family friend you've never met to the guest list, or your 'friendly discussion' with your bridesmaids about lavender versus apricot enters Round 47, don't pick up the closest sharp object - pick up a colouring book. It's called advanced art therapy, but you may know it better as good old-fashioned colouring-in. Yep, the very same activity you spent hours on as a kid is now being heralded as the latest way to zap stress and anxiety.

And you don't even need to dig out your dog-earred old Disney Princess pages, thanks to the raft of adult colouring books on the market to feed the craze. Check out Amazon's best-seller list and you'll see that at least four spots in the Top 20 are currently held by colouring books. In the US, there are colouring clubs and contests, not to mention more posts on social media than there are colours in a Faber-Castell pencil set (and as any primary school kid will tell you, that's a lot). According to AP, one American publisher is even planning a 'national colouring book day' next month.
But why is it so good for stress relief? Clinical psychologist Dr Suzy Green, founder of The Positivity Institute, recently told The Glow that the activity can help reduce stress while simultaneously promoting wellbeing and calm. “Colouring really is a mindfulness activity,” she said. “There’s research which shows that mindfulness decreases stress levels, and increases wellbeing. Mindfulness induces relaxation, and it’s calming.”

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sychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala agrees, telling The Huffington Post that focusing on a particular activity, like colouring, helps take our minds off our worries. "It also brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress," she explained. 

So how do you get on board? All you need is a colouring book and pencils - staying in the lines totally optional. 
The first issue of Zen Colouring, Natural Wonders, is out now, $6.95 at all good newsagents. 
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