In today’s world, where we deal with constant change, bombarded with information, overworked, with little time for ourselves and to enjoy life, it’s no surprise so many of us deal with stress and anxiety. Many turn to coloring books to cope. No matter how little or how much one’s skills are, the healing and therapeutic benefits of coloring are the same. Huffington Post says, “The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.
Coloring, like meditation, helps the mind and body by switching off the brain, letting go of stress and allowing focus on the moment. The inability to focus is often a symptom of anxiety or stress. “Coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.” In addition, some people have seen improvements in their motor skills, better attention and focus on lectures amongst college students, it has helped individuals to cope with physical illnesses and challenging life situations, improved mood, and improved hand-eye coordination, promote socialization and reminiscing amongst seniors.
A study in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association,examined different art activities in the reduction of anxiety. After an anxiety induction, researchers found that the group of participants that colored designs and patters had a decrease on their anxiety levels. Suggesting that coloring does have a beneficial effect.
Dr Stan Rodski, a neuropsychologist, says that coloring elicits a relaxing mindset. “Tasks with predictable results, such as coloring or knitting, can often be calming — Rodski was even able to see the physical effects they had on our bodies by using advanced technology. “The most amazing things occurred — we started seeing changes in heart rate, changes in brainwaves,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, adding that part of this neurological response in “colorists” comes from the repetition and attention to patterns and detail associated with coloring.”
One may think that coloring books are only for those who have the skills. Like in school feeling lack of confidence or pressure on assignments due to the difference in artistic skills. However, there is no pressure on coloring inside or outside the lines in coloring books, blending, or using the right colors. There are a million ways to color something, no wrong hues, and it may let us feel creative within our boundaries. Adult coloring books are being used around the world by people with all artistic levels.
A 2006 study found that only after one hour of art therapy, adult cancer patients of all ages expressed comfort and desire to continue with the therapy. Although, a coloring book is not art therapy, it is therapeutic. Coloring allows the mind to focus on the moment, letting go of other thoughts. Coloring also helps individuals with other types of physical illness, ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, dementia, self-harming behavior.
The coloring book phenomenon has reintroduced art as an important component of health and wellness. Taking time for ourselves allows us to heal, renew, and create reserves of energy. When was the last time you took a break for yourself? Stas good catch, thanks.