Think back to your days as a child and remember all of the wonderful times you had siting at a table, drawing or coloring with the TV or radio in the background or listening to a story read to you by your parents. So many of us have happy memories of coloring and drawing.
Art truly is an amazing thing, and it has been proven to offer a wide range of health benefits–both emotional and physical. It turns out that coloring isn’t just something that kids enjoy, but it’s a pastime adults should consider taking up as well!
Why Adults Should Color More
Coloring is more than just an enjoyable pastime that will keep your kids busy as you cook dinner or answer the phone. According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala in an interview she gave to the Huffington Post, coloring is good for adults as well. Why is that?
Coloring Helps to Reduce Stress
Kids may not face stress, but adults sure do. It’s been proven that stress is on the rise, with 44% of American’s facing more stress than ever. Stress is a known cause to 60% of the diseases recorded today, and roughly 75% of doctor’s visits are for stress-related issues. But coloring, that simple act of repeatedly rubbing crayons or colored pencils on a page, can help to relax your mind and body.
Psychologists actually use coloring as a relaxation technique, and have been doing so for decades. How does coloring help to reduce stress? Coloring takes focus and concentration (just like meditation). You have to pay close attention to what you are doing. And, when you’re focusing on your coloring, you’re not thinking about all of your problems and worries.
In addition to taking our minds off the stresses in our lives, coloring also activates sense memories. Just like a particular smell brings back a memory, the action of coloring triggers memories as well. You are metaphorically “transported” back to the times when you were coloring as a child. You had so much less stress as a child, and coloring basically takes your mind back to that stress-free time. It’s a subconscious thing, but it works like a charm!
Coloring Activates Both Sides of The Brain
The majority of the work-related tasks that we accomplish throughout the day require the use of the left side of our brains, the logical, mathematical side. But art is all right-brained.
When you color, you use both left and right sides of the brain. The right side of the brain is engaged to choose the colors, and the left side is engaged to control your motions and coordination as you color. By engaging both sides of the brain, you reduce the activity of the amygdala, the part of your brain that is responsible for your emotions and feelings of stress.
Coloring Books for Adults
The fact that coloring is so de-stressing and brain-friendly is the main reason that there are now coloring books being released for adults. You can find adult coloring books all over Europe, in countries like France, the UK, and Spain, as well as in the United States.
These coloring books are designed with adults in mind, and they offer a “grown up” challenge for colorists. By compelling adults to focus on what they are doing, these coloring books help to push out the stressors that plague us. Thanks to these coloring books, you can now relax and have a few worry-free minutes of pure coloring bliss!