With the recent trend of adult coloring books and coloring cards, it’s clear that adults are onto something - coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Beyond being a fun activity, coloring can also have multiple therapeutic effects on adults and children alike. Here are some of the top benefits of coloring for adults.
In your day-to-day life, how often do you take time just for you? Probably not as much as you should. Our days revolve around interactions with our family, friends, coworkers, and more, but rarely do we take time to interact with ourselves. This is why meditation is so lauded for its mental health benefits.
Meditation improves your mental health by causing your brain to enter a relaxed state through focusing on the “now” and attempting to block out the inevitable distractions and over-thinking that we all experience. By practicing meditation, you reach a state of calm and are able to better manage the day-to-day stresses of life.
If you’re one of those people who thinks meditation sounds a little overwhelming, or maybe it’s something you always wanted to try, but aren’t sure where to start, try coloring. Coloring can mirror the benefits of meditation.
According to CNN.com, "Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness." People who are able to practice mindfulness and are able to focus on the present moment experience lower levels of anxiety.
Easing anxiety and stress
While any coloring book can help provide therapeutic effects in some way, geometric patterns or mandalas found in adult coloring books are proven to produce more anti-anxiety benefits. Studies have shown the correlation of coloring mandalas with reduced anxiety levels, as opposed to doodling or freehand drawing. This is because the organized patterns with their detailed designs provide structure that calms and comforts adults as they fill in the empty spaces.
Combating the invasive effect of technology
In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, it seems we’re connected 24-7 to our cell phones, computers, TVs and everything else “tech.” Coloring can be helpful for adults as an inadvertent hiatus from technology.
When you get out a coloring book or coloring card, you’re able to turn off distractions and other forms of technology and refocus your attention on a more mindful activity. It’s easy to get caught up in every little notification and message that comes your way; coloring helps you shift from multitasking to single-tasking in an enjoyable way.
Improving focus and concentration
The practice of coloring can also have significant intellectual benefits for adults as well. Coloring, whether with crayons, colored pencils or gel pens, utilizes areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration, and also helps with problem solving and organizational skills (The Huffington Post). Coloring specifically activates the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for cognitive elements like focus and concentration.
In addition, while using your brain to focus on the paper mentally, you also have to use your sense of sight in conjunction with your fine motor skills. Doing so “allows both hemispheres of your brain to communicate, making connections that strengthen a variety of abilities within your mind” (Lifehack.org). For this reason, coloring is often postulated by scientists and researchers to have significant long-term health benefits, such as delaying or even preventing dementia.
There’s a reason that kids color when their young. Coloring allows us to explore colors, beauty, and creating something new. For these reasons, coloring can help adults reconnect with their inner-child and reignite a childlike sense of wonder and appreciation for the little things.
In essence, coloring brings adults back to a simpler time. When we were kids, we didn’t have as many responsibilities and colored because we wanted to; because it made us happy. Being able to tap back into this time in our young lives can provide a very cathartic and enjoyable experience.
There are many reasons you should try coloring, if you haven’t yet already. From improved mental health and awareness, to just having a good time and taking some time to enjoy yourself, coloring is a healthy outlet that provides a number of therapeutic benefits for adults.
To experience the therapeutic effects of coloring for yourself, visit our website for beautiful coloring cards and gel pens.