10 Unexpected Benefits of Adult Coloring

 

If you are here, you are probably at least a little curious about coloring as an adult.

Adult coloring books have become a huge trend in the past few years. Well, I’m here to tell you that coloring for grown-ups can have some amazing and unexpected benefits that can make you happier and healthier.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the biggest benefits of adult coloring that you can expect from adding coloring to your daily routine.

Check it out:

1. Coloring as therapy: How coloring as an adult can help you process difficult emotions

While coloring for adults may seem like the latest trend, it has actually been prescribed by psychiatrists for over 100 years. In fact, world-renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung saw the therapeutic value of coloring and advised many of his patients to draw and color mandalas. (Mandalas are geometric circular patterns with deep roots in both the Buddhist and Hindu religions.)

Today, psychiatrists and neuroscientists are giving coloring for grown-ups a second look as a way for patients to manage difficult emotions.

According to Dr. Joel Pearson, a neuroscientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, “concentrating on coloring a pleasant image may help to replace negative thoughts with pleasant ones.”

2. Coloring decreases anxiety and reduces stress

You may consider coloring a nice hobby to pick up–but it can be so much more! Recent studies show that, in addition to a being a creative outlet, coloring can also be a powerful way to decrease anxiety and reduce stress.

In an article on lovetoknow.com, by Mary Gormandy White, Dr. Jeanette Raymond Ph.D. of Los Angeles explains, “Because stress involves the feeling of not being in control, using motor skills to create an artistic piece makes the person feel they are actively doing something. That in itself calms the fear center in the brain, reducing the level of stress hormones in the body and brings relief.”

So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, pick up your colored pencils or crayons, print out an adult coloring page and unwind.

3. Adult coloring improves concentration and focus

When you think about starting to color as an adult, you may think: “Who has the time?” or “I just have too much to do today!” But before you know it, you’re distracted with the next item on your to-do list or that Facebook feed that keeps sucking you in. We know how it is…

But you know what? When you add time in your day to color, you’ll find that even a 15-minute session will improve your concentration and focus throughout the day. In a sense, coloring retrains your brain to focus.

Coloring calms your overstimulated Amygdala (the part of your brain that processes basic emotions, such as the “fight or flight” response.)  By doing a repetitive and predictable task, such as coloring, we are allowing the mind to relax and focus on a self-soothing activity.  Doing this repeatedly retrains the mind to focus and concentrate on a specific task.

Tip: A simple technique to block off some time every day: set an alarm on your phone. If you know that you will have a little down time after dropping the kids off at school, why not schedule a 20-minute coloring session?

4. Coloring functions as a form of meditation

Neurologically, coloring is very similar to meditation.

When you color a coloring page, your mind is singularly focused on the act of coloring. You are completely in the moment. Your blood pressure drops, your mind becomes calm, and you feel at peace.

While many people find meditation difficult, coloring pages and books for adults make it very easy for anyone to enjoy the benefits of meditation from day one. Who knew coloring could make you a zen master?

Not convinced?

Give it a try! Block off twenty minutes, grab your kids’ crayons and download a free coloring page. You will be surprised at how relaxed you feel.

You will be surprised at how it makes you feel.

5. Coloring books improve creativity and logical thinking

Many of us haven’t done anything creative for years, maybe even decades.

You may not think of coloring as a creative act, since you are simply coloring in pre-drawn images on a page. But coloring is unique because it engages both hemispheres of the brain in a way that few other activities do. It activates both the analytical (logical) regions of the brain and the creative. This improves motor skills (as we will discuss a little later), and makes new connections between the two hemispheres of the brain.

Many nursing facilities and home care groups are using coloring books to help seniors who suffer from dementia and Alzheimers.

6. Coloring reconnects you with your self

We all know we should make time for ourselves. But few of us feel we have the time, or just feel too guilty indulging our own needs when others’ seem more pressing. It’s tough to carve out a little “you time” when your kids need help with homework and your bathroom needs cleaning. We get it. We’ve been there!

Coloring as an adult gives you space to be alone with your thoughts. You are allowed to play and be creative in a way you haven’t been since you were a child.

Many adults who color report that they have reconnected with themselves as a result of coloring. They are better able to cope with the demands of modern life because they regularly carve out time for themselves. Even just a few minutes a day can make a world of difference. You’re worth it!

7. Adult coloring improves motor skills

Child Development experts often recommend coloring to children as a way to improve motor skills. The motions and precise grip necessary to color strengthen hand muscles and make long lasting neurological connections in the brain.

Well, the same holds true for many of us who are suffering from the effects of neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, or are in rehab after a traumatic brain injury. Unlike most rehabilitation, coloring offers a fun and stress-free way to improve fine motor skills and can dramatically improve hand-eye coordination.

8. Provides an outlet for personal expression

As adults, most of us do not regularly get a chance to express ourselves artistically. By setting aside a little time each day, to just create something, we are making room in our lives for ourselves make something that makes us happy.  And because the activity of coloring is so closely tied to our childhoods, for many colouring can bring our minds to a simpler time in our lives.

9.Coloring fosters mindfulness

We hear a lot about “mindfulness” these days.

But what is it exactly?

The Greater Good Center at Berkeley, defines mindfulness as,”Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.”

Coloring redirects our focus to the present moment a give the mind space to experience the activity moment by moment.

10. Coloring can help you be more social

This one surprises a lot of people. Being more social is an unexpected benefit of adult coloring.

In fact, when we think of coloring, we think of it as a solitary activity.  But local “coloring clubs” and “coloring parties” have become popular in the colorist community.

If you are interested in attending one of these events, check your local library or Meetup.com. Or call up some friends and plan a night to just color and talk.

Or call up some friends and plan a night to just color and talk.

Use coloring as a way to reconnect with old frends or simply meet others with the same interest.

How To Get Started Coloring

Want to dive in and relax? Ready to experience the benefits of adult coloring for yourself?

If so, then download this month’s free adult coloring page.
Just print it out and give coloring a go!

Enter your email below to access a beautiful artist drawn coloring page free.