Do you think coloring books are just for children? Think again. While those patterns and colors splashed across pages of intrinsic work and creativity make a child all giddy, it turns out it’s also super great for you too! Coloring books are not just for kids, they can relax the mind and provide stress relief for adults, too.
By Adeel Wani
It allows you to express your inner artist and relieve stress. Adult coloring books are great for a mindful activity, meaning they help you focus in the moment, mindfully. Participating in art therapy for an average of 50 minutes significantly improves moods, lowers levels of pain and anxiety. If you have low-level pain or anxiety, an hour of coloring just might make you feel better and calmer too.Thanks to its basic, repetitive motions, coloring engages parts of the cerebral cortex while relaxing the amygdala, the brain’s fear center, and the choice of color has a lot to do with it. Cool colors like blue and green can evoke calm, while hot colors like red and orange can be energizing. It’s fun to concentrate on the many sensations: What does the crayon feel like between your fingers? How does it smell? How would you describe the exact shade you’ve chosen?
By swapping your cell phone, tablet, or laptop for a coloring book before bed, you’ll avoid exposing yourself to the sleep-sabotaging blue light emitted by electronic devices. Still have painful memories of elementary-school art class? Undo that psychic damage. Grown-ups have relatively few opportunities for open-ended, unstructured play. But it’s precisely those moments when our minds are engaged yet free to roam that unexpected associations and ideas pop up, unleashing inner creative genius. Incorporating play into daily routines helps cancer patients feel distracted in a good way, with less stress and anxiety.
Having a creative mind and expressing yourself is one of the keys to achieve success and make progress in various aspects of your life, including professional, personal, and social. What better way to start than coloring. Adult coloring books, like any art, music, yoga, gardening, are a great option to reduce stress and express yourself. Make it a win-win: Invite your coworkers to do it with you one day at lunch. Coloring is not some kind of black magic, but it can invoke that most magical of everyday feelings: Nostalgia. How to get started? Select a book whose theme—mandalas, animals, even inspirational quotes—means something to you, and then choose your favorite colors. You don’t have to follow the rules here. If you want the sun to be blue and the trees metallic orange, go for it! Try these other brain games to let your inner child run wild. Because coloring is a hands-on hobby, it helps you maintain your manual dexterity, something that diminishes as people age. And who says coloring is a solo endeavor? Many libraries and bookstores are hosting coloring events, and if you can’t find one near you, you could host your own. People with strong social bonds report greater happiness and health throughout their lives. With adult coloring making a comeback in recent times, psychotherapists believe adults need creative outlets to relieve the stresses and strains of modern living and coloring is a healthy way to achieve this. A great hobby and pastime, coloring allows you to explore your inner creative, boost your imagination and develop your cognitive skills!