Color Me Relaxed – The Benefits of Coloring
I frequently suggest to people to try adult coloring books to help reduce stress. Most people will say “I’m an adult,” or “I’m too busy,” and “I don’t have time to color.”
There are a many benefits of coloring and you don’t have to be a child to enjoy coloring and reap the rewards. In fact, there is quite a bit of research showing that coloring is helpful for adults.
Studies have shown that for some, coloring can provide the same benefits of meditation. Per Merriam-Wester, meditation is defined as:
1) to engage in contemplation or reflection.
2) to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.
Taking this one more step, what do you do when you color? You are focusing on one thing (coloring), it forces you to be in the moment, you can block other things and just focus on that activity.
I recommend that people incorporate coloring when they can. For example, if you’re having a stressful day at work, spend a few minutes coloring on your break to help you to focus your mind and start feeling relaxed.
After all, the benefits of coloring are numerous. Here are just five examples:
1. Decreases stress – It relaxes your mind while you are engaged in creating your picture.
2. Decreases anxiety – For your next work break, try coloring at your desk or outside. You can also eat your lunch while coloring.
3. Brings out positive emotions – In color therapy, certain colors stimulate different emotional responses or feelings. For example the color blue is associated with feelings of calm, security and trust and yellow is associated with happiness.
4. Great coping mechanism – It’s a much healthier way to deal with stress versus unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, undereating, tobacco use, etc.
5. Enhances creativity – Coloring actually activates the part of your brain called the frontal lobe which is helpful for problem solving, creating and focusing (among other things).
I encourage you to try this beneficial activity to reduce your stress and anxiety. Happy coloring!