7 Surprising Benefits Of Adult Coloring Books

10 Jan 2020

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Remember, as kids, our parents used to give us a fun coloring book if we were bored or agitated? Well, this fun activity has now become a therapeutic trend for adults and it is here to stay. Major news agencies such as CNN [1] and CBS News [2] are talking about adult coloring books and their benefits. These books are not the usual coloring books you buy for your kids. They are more detailed and available in unique patterns such as floral, mandalas, animals, travel-inspired, and more. Here are the most common benefits of adult coloring books for your mental health.

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

When coloring you are completely invested in that single activity, and a study [3] shows that when you are focused on one thing at a time, your brain tends to be calm. It decreases your brain’s lower activity in the amygdala, which is majorly responsible for our fight-or-flight stress response that can lead to anxiety.

2. Improves Your Focus

When you are coloring you need to stay focused, but not enough to stress you out. The activity of coloring opens up your frontal lobe [4], which tends to enhance organizing and problem-solving in your brain. It allows you to put everything else aside, and live in the present, improving your focusing ability.

3. Exercises Your Entire Brain

Adult coloring books are more detailed and that helps both hemispheres of our brain to work together. When we color we use our creative side to choose shades and provide an aesthetic balance to the art. Plus, we also use our rational side for motor skills and problem-solving. This gives a full brain workout instead of activating just the right or the left brain.

4. It Can Be A Form Of Meditation

The pleasing designs and complex shapes can help you become calm and even enter a detached, meditative state. It aids in soothing away your stress, anxiety, and anger, [3] which is exactly what meditation does. Many have found their state of bliss in these coloring books.

5. Negative Thoughts Are Replaced

Coloring acts as a distraction from all your negative thoughts, which helps you replace them with positive thoughts. Studies [3] claim that adult coloring brings about real neurological effects like change in your heart rate and change in your brain wave.

6. Improves Sleep

We are all aware of the fact that if we avoid gadgets, we will be able to sleep faster as emitted light reduces levels of melatonin (sleep chemical). Therefore coloring is a relaxing and good way of unplugging yourselves from electronics and getting proper sleep.

7. Anyone Can Do It

You don’t need to be artistic or a professional to color, even if you haven’t touched a color pencil in your life you can still enjoy it. It is difficult to mess up the activity of coloring, and even if you do, you end up creating a different kind of art!

References:

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/06/health/adult-coloring-books-popularity-mental-health/

  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adult-coloring-book-craze-captivating-the-country

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797627/

  4. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001293

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