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adult woman colouring in a colouring book

Colour Me Calm: Why You Need a Coloring Book

Who doesn’t sometimes feel overwhelmed or stressed out by the tides of life’s ocean? Some days are blissfully relaxing—but more often than not, we have so much on our plates that it can feel like we can’t possibly fit one more piece of information into our brain?

When you’re having one of those pull-your-hair-out, frazzled days, the last thing in the world you might think to do is take 30 minutes to sit down and open a coloring book. You might think, “But I have too much work to do,” or, “I’m not a kid anymore.” And, unless your income is somehow derived from your artistic skill, you might even remind yourself that creativity doesn’t pay the bills.

But you may be surprised to learn that coloring has extraordinary benefits for kids of all ages and can act as an efficient stress management activity.

The Color Craze

One stroll through the bookstore or a click on the front page of Amazon will show you that coloring books are in right now. And, while it may seem like just another trend, there is actually good reason that coloring is so popular right now.

We know mental health care is important. Can coloring help?

Scott M Bea, Psy. D., a clinical psychologist, suggests that the magic behind coloring has to do with the brain being encouraged to refocus. Bea says, “Adult coloring requires modest attention focus outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves.”

Bea says that there are three primary reasons that coloring as an adult can provide beneficial, relaxing results. The first is that our attention is no longer focused on ourselves, the things we have to do, or the situations causing stress.

“In this way,” Bae says, “it is very much like a meditative exercise.”

Additionally, the brain becomes relaxed during the process of focusing your attention on an easy, pleasant task.

Bae says, “We are not disturbed by our own thoughts and appraisals. The difficulties of life evaporate from our awareness, and both our bodies and our brains may find this rewarding.”

In other words, it’s difficult for your brain to focus on external or even internal stressors when you’re busy trying to create the perfect color gradient for the parrot on the page before you.

Finally, Bae asserts that the predictability of coloring can be a comfort.

“It is hard to screw up coloring, and even if you do, there is no real consequence.” He adds, “As a result, adult coloring can be a wonderful lark, rather than an arduous test of our capacities.”

While taking risks is often a wonderful, necessary, and rewarding part of life, sometimes we need to remind our minds and our bodies that easygoing activities also serve their purpose. With all of the work on your plate and the tasks on your to-do list, the low stakes of adult coloring can be a welcome change from your fast-paced life.

Related article: How to Activate Positive Emotions with Aromatherapy

More Colorful Benefits

Beyond the benefits mentioned, the act of coloring can also improve motor skills, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep and focus. Imagine how much more relaxing it might be to pull out the coloring book before cozying up in bed rather than burying your face in the bright light of your smartphone.

Coloring falls into the category of art therapy, which according to the American Art Therapy Association is considered a process of using art to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” While a coloring session certainly does not substitute for therapy, it’s comforting to know that art therapy is a supplemental option for those who may not be able to afford traditional therapy. Given an outlet that provides so many benefits can naturally help to heal your mental state.

Besides, everyone needs an outlet for emotions. Some people aren’t comfortable with journaling or otherwise putting their emotions into words. Coloring can act as a way for you to get those emotions out without saying a word.

Feeling angry and upset? Maybe color that sun a feisty red or orange. If you’re feeling blue, you might find the cerulean and get creative with a tiger.

When it comes to coloring, the world is your oyster.

Which brings us to another wonderful aspect of coloring: you can truly create a world of your own. There are no limitations but your own imagination. You can paint the sky pink or fill your pictures in with doodles and creatures that you feel like creating. There are no rules. As adults, we live by many limitations and follow a strict set of guidelines. When we pick up a coloring book, we get to throw caution to the wind and simply fulfill our heart’s desires.

So, are you ready to let loose and get coloring? Try this beautiful coloring book by MantraCraft, with “stress relieving animal designs.”

Related Article: How to Balance Your Chakras with Complementary Colours

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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