There is a popular trend that is happening in the world of relaxation and stress relief. Many experts say that it is a form of art therapy, while others claim that it has similar benefits to meditation. It is a form of stress relief and expression that many have practiced since childhood….and that is coloring!
Many adults are now picking up coloring books and crayons and are spending time creating new masterpieces…all in the name of relieving stress. In fact, coloring has become so popular, that five of the top 25 best selling books on Amazon.com currently are adult coloring books.
So, while there haven’t been any major scientific studies on the health benefits of coloring, are there any? Absolutely!
5 health benefits of coloring:
You slow down for awhile
Especially in the US, most people spend a great deal of time being busy. We are busy with work, with family, with social media, cell phones and computers. And this excessive business is not exactly the best for our health. Being overly busy is a major stress creator, and having high levels of chronic stress ultimately leads to chronic health issues. Couple this with the fact that a large percentage of the population doesn’t engage in regular stress management, and you have a recipe for illness. Coloring allows you to slow down and detach from the business for a little while.
It gets you away from technology for awhile
How many people do you know that would need to have their cell phones, tablets or laptops surgically removed from their bodies? That’s a slight exaggeration, of course, but many people have actually become addicted to their devices. And as great as it can be to be connected 24/7, human beings simply were not designed to handle so much excessive stimulation. And when we are on social media, looking at our phones, texting or listening to music for much of the day, this creates stress, the body becomes overwhelmed and illness results. Coloring allows you to put down the cell phone and laptop and focus on doing something that is not over stimulating to the nervous system. The best way to get the benefits of coloring is to do it without the television on or music playing loudly.
Your breathing changes
As you focus on coloring, naturally your breathing with deepen and slow down. As we mature into adulthood, we tend to become shallow breathers, especially as stress increases. That shallow breathing prevents our body from fueling up with the amount of oxygen that it needs to function effectively and as a result, we experience more stress and anxiety. It becomes a never ending snowball effect. When we take the time to color, our focus on the task naturally slows our breathing down and deepens it. This by itself is enough to significantly reduce stress levels!
You leave behind troubles and worries
The focus that is required for coloring and staying inside the lines is a great way to center yourself in the present moment. People spend most of their lives replaying the troubles of the past or worrying about the future instead of allowing themselves to be present in the moment. When you live in the moment, it is next to impossible to feel fear, anger or anxiety. Don’t believe me? Think about this for a moment….when was the last time you were angry at someone? When you were carrying around that anger, it was not living in the moment. It was reliving something that the person did to you in the past, that made you angry. When we worry about things, it is because we are thinking about what “could” happen in the future. But that even hasn’t happened yet, so why worry? When we live in the present, there is much less stress and coloring allows us to spend time, focusing in the present.
You create something beautiful!
There really is something magical about creating beautiful things. And as you choose each different color to apply to the page and begin to see your creation take shape, it just plain feels good! Add to that all of the great deep breathing you did, the time you spent focused in the moment and the time away from the stimulation of technology and coloring is definitely a great recipe for relaxation and stress relief!
All you need to do now to begin coloring is to find a great adult coloring book or do an online search for free adult coloring pages. There are tons of them out there that will allow you to experience the benefits of coloring today!