The Psychological Benefits To Adult Coloring

Coloring books are not just for children. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was definitely coloring. Even though I rarely stayed in the lines, I always found it a creative outlet and a fun activity on a rainy day. But now, as an adult, there are many benefits to my coloring activities, not just a pretty picture. Adult coloring books are the new fad. With today being National Coloring Book Day, I wanted to explore some of the scientific benefits coloring can have for you!

Adult coloring books can relieve stress similarly to the way that meditation can reduce stress levels. Being present is important as it allows the mind to forget future and past stressors, and since coloring is an in-the-moment activity, it helps with being present which can have mental health benefits for us.

Reduction of stress is a great benefit adults can achieve by coloring. Being in-the-moment, or present, can help reduce negative thoughts. The fun thing about the coloring book craze is that anyone can do it! It’s not just for the creative folks, but can be enjoyed by everyone and can be done anywhere. You don’t even need a coloring book. You can just de-stress by downloading a mandala online, print it, and start coloring with a few markers, colored pencils or crayons!

A study titled Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety was conducted at a small liberal arts college with 84 college students as participants. The students were split into 3 groups; 1 group was assigned to color mandalas, 1 group was assigned to color a plaid pattern, and the last group was assigned to just color on a blank piece of paper. The end results showed that the groups anxiety levels were significantly lower in the two groups who had structured coloring over the 3rd assigned group of coloring freely. The findings of this study showed that coloring produced a meditative state that could benefit those suffering from anxiety.

Benefits Of Adult Coloring:

  • Lowers stress and anxiety levels
  • Helps keep you focused
  • Helps with being present
  • Can replace negative thoughts with positive ones

Coloring is so popular now that if you don’t feel like scrolling through pages online, or finding the appropriate page in a book, you can even download an app straight to your phone and color on the go!

I color because it calms my mind, allowing me to be present. It’s a stress relief at the end of a long work day, and mostly importantly, it’s fun! Why do you color?

References:
http://www.medicaldaily.com/therapeutic-science-adult-coloring-books-how-childhood-pastime-helps-adults-356280
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ688443.pdf
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-nikki-martinez-psyd-lcpc/7-reasons-adult-coloring-books-are-great-for-your-mental-emotional-and-intellectual-health_b_8626136.html

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