Coloring isn't just for kids anymore. I am one of those people that never outgrew coloring. I ignored the looks of adults when I sat and grew my own doodle just to color (I am not an artist at all, so I would just draw lines & circles all over a piece of paper and create my own mosaic masterpiece). Having kids allowed me an excuse to sit and color, even long after they were done. My anatomy teacher even thought I wasn't listening to his lectures when I was coloring my anatomy coloring book during Massage school (yes, there's such a thing & part of our course).
But did you know it also has some great health benefits? Let's list the many ways it can benefit us…
- According to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis it relaxes the fear center of our brain (the amygdala) and allows the brain to rest.
- Coloring parties! It gives you a chance to be social and share a common interest.
- It reduces stress and anxiety. It goes back to #1 relaxing the amygdala. It can help retrain it to respond less harshly to stress.
- It helps you focus your brain. You are in the moment. You are only thinking about staying in the lines or getting the color just right. You forget your worries and just turn your thoughts to your current actions.
- You can be you. Want a pink unicorn with a rainbow horn? Or maybe a bright purple frog? Color it the way you want. It's your creation, no one else's.
- Can help improve sleep. If you tend to use electronics before bed (like I do) it can disrupt your sleep. The blue light emitted from electronics disrupts your circadian rhythm and may increase insomnia. It also reduces melatonin that your body produces. So maybe coloring before bed might be more beneficial to your sleep.
- Enhance fine motor skill and vision. Coloring requires the use of both sides of the brain, including the area that involves fine motor skill & vision.
- Has been prescribed by psychologists for 100 years. Psychologist Carl Jung had his patients coloring mandalas for relaxation and self-discovery.
- Free decorations. Frame them. Put them on your fridge/corkboard. Make cards out of them. Decorate your space with your work.
I finally bought an adult coloring book and love to just sit and color between my clients or when I'm waiting for my dinner to cook. Sometimes when I don't want to watch what my husband is watching on tv, I put in earbuds to some soothing piano music and get to coloring. Talk about a good night of sleep. :D
So what do you think? Do you color? How has it helped you?