So I have to admit something to you guys. I’m a huge fan of coloring. I mean, I’m a bit obsessed. It’s the perfect stress reliever after a crazy day at work or whenever I’m feeling down or depressed some how coloring lifts me back up.
I used to color all the time growing up. I have several completed coloring books back at my parents house. I remember my mom and dad used to buy us kids huge coloring books for Christmas and we’d color all day on Christmas Eve. It was always one of my favorite presents.
Coloring in adulthood is great. There are so many reasons why it’s good for you and today we are going to explore those very reasons. Let’s get to it!
- Helps fine Motor Skills and Vision: According to psychologist Gloria Martinez, coloring requires the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate and the activity itself improves fine motor skills and vision. She says “the action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors.” Another thing to note, coloring, like Sudoku, crosswords and word searches, helps to delay or prevent the onset of dementia in older individuals.
- Trains the Brain to Focus: It takes focus to “color inside the lines” but not so much focus that it causes stress. Clinical counselor LEslie Marshall explains that the activity: “opens up the frontal lobe of the brain – the home of organizing and problem solving – and focuses the mind. It allows those who are coloring to forget their worries for a brief time. It trains you to live in the moment, which allows the worries of the day or week to melt away during the time that you’re coloring.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Believe it or not, but coloring allows the fear center of your brain to relax. Giving your amygdala periodic rests reduces stress overall. Allowing your whole body to relax and be calm. It’s a great meditative practice to participate in.
- Gives You a Chance to Be Social: You’ve heard of wine and cheese parties, but have you heard of coloring book parties? There’s a big craze going on now where friends get together to color over wine and great conversations. It’s a great opportunity for those who love art, but aren’t the best at drawing, can feel like they are creating something.
- Psychiatrists Have Prescribed Coloring to Patients for Hundreds of Years (Seriously!): In the early 1900’s psychiatrist Carl Jung began prescribing coloring books to patients as a way to help calm patients down and center their minds. Many psychiatrists still take Jung’s lead.
Still not convinced? Grab a printable coloring page from here, (there’s so many different coloring options!!) and give it a try. I promise you’ll see a difference in your mood. It’ll be fun!
A few of my favorite adult coloring books can be found on Amazon, for a great price. Browse the collection here.
All photos taken by Alida Bigham. Follow her on Pinterest today!