Adult Coloring And Stress Relief
How many times have you sat in your car after a day’s work and you feel your stress level just climbing up the ladder to boiling point? Many of us as busy parents and harried business people will go to great lengths just to find the best relaxation method, but have you heard about the new relaxation trend? Where you don’t need a yoga mat or soothing scents or a Tibetan drum? All you need is just a box of crayons or colored pencils and of course, adult coloring books. When I say “adult coloring books”, I’m referring to those books that you can easily break out when you need to shift your focus or practice your own stress reduction. They have so many uses and purposes that you may not be aware of. Of course, coloring books allow you to rediscover how much fun it can be to come across the unexpected. With an orange horse, an elephant the size of a dog, a lion the size of a cat, you can simply enjoy yourself without minding the scientific explanation of why a pink horse is never possible. But beyond the obvious outcomes of beauty and enjoyment, it’s the books’ therapeutic properties that really have them flying off shelves.
Coloring, an activity that was once reserved for children and adults who babysit them has now found a different demographic. Coloring is not just for the kids anymore, and it is not just something that keeps the 10 and under set busy on a rainy afternoon. It is now what adults around the world are picking up. It is becoming the latest most popular trend among adults to get their stress under control and distract themselves from the daily pressures of life.
Many people find this trend mostly baffling and maybe a little bit dumb, and while it might seem crazy that something as simple as a coloring book could actually be beneficial, research continually supports this idea with evidences that coloring is more than just a mundane task that allows us to relive our childhoods. In fact, researchers have known for several years the benefits of coloring on the adult brain and throughout history, many famous psychiatrists have recommended it to their patients. Most of these coloring books for adults are not just created to re-awaken our interest in art and set our imagination free, they are created in consultation with clinical psychologists.
One of the first psychologists to utilize the stress-relieving benefits of coloring was Carl Jung in the early half of the 20th century. He was said to have prescribed coloring to his patients as a remedy to stress and anxiety. He did this through Mandalas. Mandalas are intricate circular designs similar to the Gothic churches’ rose windows. In Buddhist and Hindu traditions, they represent the universe. Also in the past, coloring books have been provided to prison inmates and women in shelters to channel their creativity and lower their stress levels. A study published in 2005 proved anxiety levels dropped in subjects after a short period of coloring mandalas. Coloring has also been used experimentally for people with anxiety and stress-related disorders with some people reporting sleeping better when they color before going to bed.
The reason behind all these is very simple and clear. As the pressures of modern life continue to affect our physical and mental health, a simple, relaxing activity like coloring can be an effective solution. When coloring, the intricacies of patterns forces your mind to concentrate on the present moment. When our thoughts are focused on a simple activity, our brains tend to relax and the difficulties of life evaporate from our awareness which in turn benefits both the body and the brain. The simple, repetitive movements of coloring each line promotes an inner calm within us and lower the levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
Coloring doesn’t only utilize the creative side of the brain, problem solving and fine motor skills are involved in choosing colors, identifying balance and applying the idea to the page you want to color. Due to the calming effects of the concentration involved, coloring has proven to be ideal for people health issues like epilepsy and decreasing the occurrence of epileptic attacks. Coloring also promotes sensory stimulation, coordination and memory recovery. When you pick up a crayon or colored pencil and start coloring, you are using the creative side of your brain, helping with cognitive and sensory development and maintenance. This makes it an excellent exercise for those recovering from a stroke, as it strengthens the pathways between the brain and the fingertips.
Most of us simply know that we love coloring. When we take out our favorite coloring tools and fill in an abstract design, it keeps us focused on the activity at hand. It is nice to take a break from life if even for a few minutes and get lost in doing something that is simplistic. Whether we do it by ourselves or with a group of friends, we experience a sense of relief and are given a break from life’s issues. Coloring is simple but the results are grand and it takes you away for a few minutes of escape from the responsibilities that all adults have to deal with.
There are few daily activities that can improve your mood, productivity, and ability to cope with stress as well as getting enough high-quality sleep. One of these activities is coloring before you go to bed. Let’s face the obvious, it’s almost impossible to avoid using with your electronics at night, whether it’s answering emails, catching up on your favorite shows, doing online research, or reading on your e-reader. But unfortunately, exposure to the blue light emitted from your electronic devices contributes to sleeplessness. Also, evening electronics use significantly reduces your levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. So if you are wondering, “what else is there to do?” Well, coloring books provide you the best option. Consider getting yourself a box of crayons or colored pencils, and a coloring book, and set aside a bit of time each week to color.
The beauty about coloring is that you don’t need to be an expert, or a painter or an artist, you can just pick something you like or that speaks to you and color it however you want it. Although it might take a good while to color a single page completely, maybe a few hours, but there’s something very satisfying about watching the color slowly spread across the page, about sitting and following the lines to an end that’s within sight, and about seeing your thought and effort create a tangible, pretty thing.
You can also keep a coloring book tucked away in your desk drawer for those more stressful days, or color during your commute to work. It is also a great activity to do together with your child, and this alongside the help of your physician can help to keep you calm and healthier for longer. As you can see, they are highly effective for many reasons, and the ideas behind them have stood the test of time. So go ahead—release your inner artist. Stay in the lines…or be a rebel and color outside them.
If You Like This Website Click Here To Create Your Own Website For Free
I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.