If you are like me, I find solace in coloring. Getting all of your supplies together and taking time to enjoy something leisurely is something we can all benefit from during these difficult times. Come with me today as we look at the incredible benefits that coloring can have for your mental and physical health!
There are many incredible benefits to coloring, but the main benefit is the ability to relax your mind and body. Coloring has a similar effect that meditation; the mind can relax and only focus on the motion of coloring. Here, we can achieve mindfulness where we can be content and stress-free.
Now that we have taken the time to address why coloring can be so beneficial for our brain, let’s dive deeper into how beneficial coloring really can be overall. No matter what, you will leave here with new ways to enhance your self-care routine, or maybe just a new way to wind down after a hectic day.
Mental and Physical Benefits of Coloring
These days, we are all looking for ways to take away the consistent stress that clouds our minds. We are in an incredibly difficult and fragile time. This can increase mental health issues like depression and anxiety! Taking time to color can get your brain to focus on something other than anxiety as well as relax your mind.
Before we get started, let’s make things a bit more clearer. Coloring can be hugely beneficial for adults who are going through mental health issues, but it is different from art therapy. Using a coloring book DOES NOT count as a therapy session within art therapy. If you would like to look more into art therapy, please do more research on different activities used in art therapy, or speak to a medical professional.
Stress and Anxiety Decrease
Adult coloring can be seen as a coping mechanism or used as a tool for therapy. More specifically, coloring any sort of geometric shape or mandala can help reduce stress/ anxiety levels at high rates. Studies have shown that the more complex the pattern is, the higher the chance of a meditative state.
Ultimately, our brains are filled with daily reminders of work, school, and family. We have all wanted our brains to shut off and be quiet for once! With coloring, the brain naturally only focuses on the simple task in front of you. In the eye, coloring can be seen as a mundane task, but it can do wonders for self-care when the hustle and bustle are too much. In this space, we are removing ourselves from our busy minds and focusing on the pretty colors.
Check out our article on coloring to relieve stress HERE!
Coloring Exercises Brain Activity
Although coloring relaxes your mind and body, coloring can also enhance brain activity responsible for how we perceive creativity and logic. Coloring is not just a kid-friendly activity and it does not stop once you reach adolescence. Coloring is incredibly beneficial for both the developing and adult mind as it takes advantage of both sides of the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is a big part of the brain because it helps with basic coordination and other motor skills.
We use both the creative and logical parts of our brains when coloring. This happens when we do something as simple as choosing a color to color with or picking out a pattern. So, when you think you are just prepping your station to color, you are using both sides of the brain’s cerebral cortex!
Coloring Can Replace Negativity
We are all hoping for a little bit more positivity. Even if it is for a small amount of time. Restore your mind and body!
Coloring is a wonderful way to calm your own body or self-soothing. Self-soothing is an exercise used as a coping mechanism to help with the mental and physical functions of our body that are so susceptible to stress-induced environments.
If you ever find yourself stressed from work, or just stressed from life overall, find a quiet space to color. You can create your patterns, or follow along with a coloring book. Learning how to calm the consistent nerves that are running through our bodies is a positive step toward a healthy being.
Coloring is Not a Competition
The great thing about coloring and using adult coloring books is that there is no real challenge or competition. Many of us are competing, whether we know it or not, to be the best at our work. Coloring is a simple task that allows our brains to shut off any unneeded thoughts and focus on the intricate task at hand. This is why detailed patterns are so important because they allow you to only focus on that singular task.
Coloring Replaces Bustling Technology
When we turn off the lights at the end of the day and get ready for bed, our phones don’t necessarily turn off like the rest. Many of us are awake, staring at the screen for hours; checking emails, looking at text messages, or browsing through Tik Tok. Although we may not notice this, staring at our phones for hours before bed, or keeping them right next to your pillow, is not the best way to keep stress at bay.
Sometimes we need to unplug and this is especially important right before we lay our heads to rest and wake up the next morning. It may sound odd to bring out your sketchbook instead of your phone to unwind, but the simple act of coloring can ease your mind more than your Facebook feed.
Think of it this way. All day and every day, we are connected to a technology device; watching TV, typing on our computers, video conferences, or playing on mobile devices. We are staring at a screen consistently, not giving much rest to our eyes or our brains. To actively live a healthy lifestyle, there needs to be time to unplug and soothe your mind. Coloring is a calming and inexpensive way to soothe your mind!
So You’re Bored, Now What?
After all of your work is done and there is not much left to do but watch television, what is something you can do to pass the time? You can grab a coloring book, and a nice music playlist, and get to coloring! Coloring is a wonderful hobby to keep in your back pocket. Literally. Coloring is something you can do on the go! With the pandemic going on, not many of us are rushing to get out in public, but we can still talk about how handy coloring can be when traveling.
As a kid, many of our parents would sit us down with some colored pencils and coloring books to keep us entertained. Usually, we see this happening during times when our parents are busy and need time to themselves. This same thinking can be applied to adults. For example, coloring can be utilized to pass the time when traveling (planes, trains, road trips), or even lounging at parks or cafes.
Passing the time with nothing to do but go on our phones can feel tedious and more stress-inducing; whether that be the constant flow of work emails or the pushing of unhealthy standards on social media platforms, it can all feel too much. Nobody wants to be even more stressed while passing the time!
Let’s Talk Recommendations
Yes, we have gathered that coloring is beneficial for your mental and physical well-being, but with all this talk, we need some action! There are many coloring books out on the market that are specifically designed for self-soothing and de-stressing your body. Let’s go through some of our favorites.
Favorite Mindfulness Coloring
Below is a small list of our favorite coloring books for adults. These books are specifically catered towards the health benefits that coloring can offer, especially during these difficult times. Our favorites are as follows:
- The Mindfulness Coloring Book by Emma Farrarons
- Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
- The Calm Coloring Book by Editors of Thunder Bay Press
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress-Relieving Designs
Now that we have shown you a few of our favorite coloring books, let’s move on to final thoughts about the benefits of coloring.
Make sure to use colored pencils when filling in coloring books! This is important because it can help with filling in the designs without bleeding from markers, or the mess of crayons. This is only a suggestion, but colored pencils seem to work best. After all, you might want to turn these coloring projects into home decor!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I look into art therapy/ how is it different?
Art therapy is more than just “chilling out” your mind. If you want to learn more about art therapy and how it can help with healing/mental health issues, you can find more here.
What are some other self-care practices within art?
You can use your heart as a release. Although following a pattern seems to be more beneficial, exploring your mind and creating a story with colors, can relieve tension in your body.
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