Coloring: The Key To Relaxation
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Growing up, I always had 4 or 5 coloring books lying around with uncountable numbers of crayons, markers, map pencils… you name it. I always found coloring enjoyable and I was able to escape to a far off land of colors and imagination whenever I wanted.
But now that you are an adult, obviously coloring is just for kids, right? Not necessarily!
Being in my 30’s I still find myself captivated by those magic books. I have a few lying around along with tantalizing markers and crayons. At first, I thought it was because I’m an artist and just a big kid at heart, but then I learned that coloring actually helped me with the stresses of my day.
You have probably seen Facebook posts and ads everywhere advertising “adult coloring books.” They look fun. In fact, they are! Not only do adult coloring books help you to relax and escape the stress of your busy day, but there are actually emotional and intellectual health benefits to coloring too! Here are some of the top ones:
- Helps With Emotional And Mental Health. Coloring allows you to let your mind focus on coloring rather than the stressors and negative issues in your life. It also helps with boredom and lack of structure. When you’re bored, your mind seems to wonder and think. The more you wonder and think, the more stressed you can become. When you’re coloring, your mind is focused on the task at hand and not the negative issues or your stressful day at work.
- It Is An Alternative To Meditation. Meditation is often used by people who suffer from anxiety, PTSD and stress issues to help them calm down and relax their body and mind. When you are stressed or anxious, the amygdala, the part of your brain that controls the fight or flight response, is active, causing a heightened sense of worry and panic. Coloring gives you a harmless and fun activity to do that turns down the fight or flight response, giving you a calmer mind and a more relaxed body.
- Coloring Brings You Back To A Simpler Time. When you color, it invokes the easier and happier times of your childhood. This activity can remind you of a time when you did not have any responsibilities to worry about and when you could do something just because you wanted to, not because you had to.
- Enhances Focus And Concentration. When you color, your brain is using areas that enhance focus and concentration as well as organizational skills and problem solving. Coloring detailed pictures and thinking of complex color schemes allow these areas of your brain to work.
- Utilizes Both Sides Of Your Brain. Coloring allows your brain to utilize both the left and right hemispheres. Thinking about color choices and applying those color choices to paper makes you work with your fine motor skills and problem-solving skills.
You don’t even have to be stressed to color. It’s an enjoyable and relaxing activity for everyone of all ages, with plenty of benefits to go around.
Pick out a coloring book, get your favorite coloring tools and get to work and see how amazing you feel after! Let us know how it goes for you!
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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