Would you be surprised to learn that there are always coloring books for adults in Amazon’s top selling books? Coloring has been used as a method of therapy for yonks and now it seems that there is a resurgence in its popularity as adults are discovering its many benefits for themselves. Want to be amongst them? Here are the reasons to take up coloring:
1 What's Good Enough for Carl Jung & Sigmund Freud...can't Be a Bad Hobby!
For the last 100 years, psychiatrists have been prescribing coloring books as a means to improve patient-therapist communication. Coloring also helps patients to express what's in their hearts and minds, when words aren't adequate to describe trauma, bereavement or depression. Carl Jung was the first psychologist to use coloring books as part of his therapy, using them to help patients relax and relate their worries, sorrows etc.
2 Coloring Improves Fine Motor Skills and Vision
Other reasons to take up coloring are of a more physical nature. When we color books we use the two hemispheres of our brains to communicate, improving our fine motor skills and vision in the process. According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the action involves not just logic, which is used to color shapes and forms, but also creativity, when we mix and match colors. This, she says, " incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills." Just like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are therapeutic, coloring books may also be instrumental in the delay or prevention of age-related health issues like dementia.
3 Coloring Helps to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Coloring takes concentration. The process of matching colors and filling shapes and forms with the colors we have chosen allows the fear centre of our brains to relax, which in turn relaxes us, calms us and lowers our blood pressure over time. It acts as a form of meditation and allows our amygdala rest periods that reduce stress. Schedule time for coloring every week and see how your amygdala will thank you for it.
4 Coloring Lets Your Brain Focus Better
Trying to stay inside the lines when we color requires focus, but not the kind that's stressful. The activity focuses the mind by opening up the frontal lobe of the brain, the centre for organizing and problem solving; it permits the person doing the coloring to enter a worry-free zone, where they can live in the moment and can put everything else aside for the duration of the activity. That's an important skill in our hectic world, one that keeps us in good mental health.
5 Be Social with Coloring
Although coloring has traditionally been a one-gal-and-her-coloring-book activity, the popularity of coloring books has inevitably led to coloring becoming a social craze. Now people hold coloring parties, sipping wine and nibbling crackers while coloring as if their lives depended on it. It's a great activity where everyone can join in; you don't have to be fit, creatively gifted or even know one end of a watercolor pencil from the other – all you have to do is concentrate on staying inside the lines, having a chat and a drink. Use coloring to bond with relatives rarely seen or co-workers seen far too often.
6 Re-discover the Real YOU with Coloring
It's easy to forget who we once were before we started adult life. Coloring allows you to be YOU, to reconnect with the bright-eyed young person inside, before the cynic took over and accepted the role society assigned to you. For the duration of your coloring session, you're not parent, sibling, spouse or long-suffering personal assistant or company director. It's your coloring book, you choose the colors that fill the forms! If you want an elephant to be orange, a cat to have polka dots or a cow to have stripes, who's to say you can't? Be the goddess who creates and colors her own universe! Of all the important reasons to take up coloring, surely this is the best one of all.
7 Use Coloring Books as Free Decoration
There are any number of reasons to take up coloring, from wanting to relax to practicing eye to hand coordination, but one of the more obvious ones is that coloring books allow you to indulge all sorts of other decorative hobbies, from decoupage to greeting card making, without adding much to the cost. Just think, 65 pages of colorful pictures you can stick on cards, use as gift wrappers for small items, frame and hang on your study walls...
I haven’t mentioned that it’s a cheap hobby. All you need is a coloring book and a pack of pencils. So what do you think? Are you going to pick up a coloring book?