Have you noticed? Coloring books are back. Only they're for adults this time.
But why, in a world where people are even too busy for vacations, should we take time to pick up some crayons or colored pencils and just sit down with a coloring book for a while and...color? Well, if you're not already a fan, here are a few reasons why you might want to give it a shot:
1. It makes you feel like a kid again.
Coloring reminds you of a time when you didn't have to worry about anything other than coloring. Like when you were young, and the weight of the world wasn't on your shoulders. Getting back those happy childhood memories helps one relax and even feel optimistic and energetic for the future.
2. It calms your nerves.
Coloring calms your nerves and relieves stress. It's like meditation, whether you stay in the lines or not. And meditation, as we all know, helps the human body relax and shed the stress that makes difficult things even more difficult.
One of the earliest scientists to study the therapeutic effects of coloring in adults was Carl Jung, the founder of Analytic Psychology. He studied coloring of Mandalas (which have concentric circles and geometric patterns in them) during the first half of the 20th century. He often used Mandalas for his patients and found that it helped them become calmer and experience less stress. Coloring mandalas are especially relaxing. The act of coloring the round patterns and concentric circles of those ancient designs relax the mind and make a person more mindful. It also helps one focus on the moment.
3. It promotes conversation.
This is a funny one. Many of the groups of adults that form for coloring events represent people who've never met before. And yet, take a look at such groups in action and you'll see that they are not only coloring, they are talking...sharing stories. And guess what, no one is on their cell phone.
4. It activates both parts of your brain.
According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the action of coloring involves both logic and creativity. When we use logic to pick up a color for a particular shape or design, we activate the analytical part of the brain. But when we decide to mix and match colors, we activate the creative side of the brain. This helps coordinate both sides of the brain, which control vision and help with coordination and fine motor skills.
5. It's like taking a quick vacation.
Coloring helps you get away from it all. If you're trying to relax after a busy day, just take out your crayons or colored pencils and download some coloring pages. It will be a little like taking a vacation.
6. It makes people feel creative.
And who doesn't want to feel more creative? Heck, how many times have you heard people say, "Hey, I'm not creative." Not true. To be human means to be inherently creative. Unfortunately, much natural creativity is stifled over time.
Coloring books for adults ignite creativity, especially in other aspects of life. Adults who color regularly find that they become better at picking colors for their clothes, their interiors, etc. Coloring also helps people become more creative in their jobs, analytic thinking and several other aspects of work and play.
7. Coloring helps reduce anxiety.
Hundreds of adults are affected by anxiety. Symptoms for anxiety and panic attacks include worry, nausea, headaches, chills, fever, insomnia, and others. By using coloring, therapists help their adult patients relax. The artistic expression helps patients go deeper into a relaxed state allowing other forms of therapy to be more effective. Research now shows that coloring pages and books for adults can be used as a prelude to regular or conventional therapy for many mental disorders.
8. Coloring can be therapy for many diseases.
Coloring? Yes. Take the example of 38 year old Cari Schofield from Stockbridge, Georgia. Due to epilepsy, she had many limitations. But when she started coloring, she found it easier to calm down and relax. This, in turn, helped reduce epileptic attacks. Due to jerky hand movements, she had experienced difficulty in holding a pen or pencil for drawing. But by coloring, she began to enjoy the activity again.
9. It's a way to rediscover yourself.
It's easy to find yourself in a monotonous rut. Coloring can help one get out of the routine, making a person feel more relaxed and comfortable at the end of a long day. It also makes it easier to be with one's own thoughts and have a greater sense of mindfulness.
So, now do you feel a little more like coloring? We hope so!