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How Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental Health

{Image Credit: iStock}

Break out the crayons and markers, because coloring books are making a huge comeback — for grown-ups! In what might seem like a surprise for so many and a total “HUH?” moment, artsy adult-friendly coloring books are currently flying off the shelves and for good reason.

The adult coloring book phenomenon has a plethora of benefits that aid in mental, emotional and intellectual well-being. According to researchers from New Zealand, a study reported in The Guardian suggests anxiety and depression may be reduced by coloring in as little as 10 minutes a day.

It’s no secret that everyone is looking for a bright, yet quiet distraction from the stresses of everyday life. Touted as a contemporary technique to generate wellness and stimulate brain areas related to our motor skills, senses and creativity, coloring books have become the model for effective self-therapy.

While a typical children’s coloring book entails large illustrations, adult coloring books are more reflective and intricately designed. With small details that must carefully be shaded in, adult coloring books are for the more adept and mindful individual.

Since its popularity, numerous studies have reported coloring as a therapeutic route to manage everyday tension and anxiety. In all its fun and healthy pleasures, coloring helps improve mood, focus, and encourage positive thinking.

Improves your mood:

If you’re looking for ways to reduce anger or change your attitude, coloring is a potent intervention for a calmer mood. Because it’s a centering activity with an organized structure, the amygdala (involved with fear response), takes a breather and creates a calming effect over time.

Neuroscientific research has shown coloring can help the human brain naturally change, grow, and rejuvenate itself. In many ways, it can empower you to manage thoughts and feelings on your own through creative self-expression.

Increases focus:

By allowing you to distract yourself and take mental breaks, this relaxation technique allows you to focus on the moment. Helping to reduce heart rate and induce a state of cerebral peace, you enter a freer, creative side that increases concentration.

Clinical counselor, Leslie Marshall tells The Washington Times that coloring helps open the frontal lobe of the brain responsible for organizing and problem solving, allowing the mind to concentrate on a single activity.

Enables positive thinking:

Researchers discovered concentration through coloring might assist in the replacement of negative thoughts and images with more pleasant ones. In the same vein of meditation, the complete absorption of shapes, sizes, and choosing colors helps to stop any anxiety-related mental imagery from transpiring.

Through its repetition of strokes releasing serotonin and encouraging multisensory connections, recent studies proved structured, rhythmic activities are beneficial to ease our mind into a meditative state—pushing negativity and anxiety aside. Its gradual progression through a pattern helps counter negative thoughts and experiences with positive outcomes.

* * * * *

By coloring and taking time out to reduce the strain in our lives, that feeling of being a kid again without a worry in the world can be a satisfying moment to a hard day — even for a little while. As social media has helped play a big role in its growing popularity and journey to Zen, it’s not hard to figure out why coloring books are here to stay.

What do you think of adult coloring books? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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One Comment on “How Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental Health”

  1. Lynn Thaler August 11, 2018 at 8:08 am #

    I find it very relaxing.

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