Benefits of Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Books

Benefits of Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Books

First we were told knitting and other similar crafts were excellent stress relieving activities. Now the trend sweeping our land is “stress relieving adult coloring books”! Coloring has become a cheap stress relief, a time for adults to unplug from the rush of the digital world and a time to put on hold their busy schedules and just sit down with an adult coloring book and a nice set of colored pencils. What could be simpler?

Benefits of Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Books

Stress relieving adult coloring books are helping lots of individuals. Some color in the comfort of their own home and prefer to be alone. Others find coloring with a group of friends at a community centre, library, restaurant or in each other’s homes is their cup of tea.

In a post titled The Benefits of Coloring for All Ages on http://kidlutions.blogspot.ca , I found the following point very interesting as it happened in our last family gathering. My sisters and I brought out coloring books and had the best family chit chat in years!
Relaxed states can lead to more discussion of important topics. If you’re a parent, why not try coloring together as a family and experiencing the relaxation benefits that are to be had? In addition, you may just find that these sorts of moments lend themselves to conversation and connection you hadn’t planned on.

The following are some of the benefits found in stress relieving adult coloring books:

  • Reduce stress and boost mental clarity.
  • A pleasant way to relax right at home that requires no special clothing, gear, or membership fees!
  • Coloring has the power to focus the brain similarly to meditation.
  • People who find it difficult to meditate, coloring pages and books for adults easily help induce the same meditative state.
  • Research suggests, coloring may lower stress, aid relaxation, boost creativity, even help improve sleep and attention spans.
  • An electronic-free way to spend a little time before turning out the lights that won’t disturb your melatonin levels so you may sleep better.
  • Promotes creativity and flexible thinking.
  • Stress relieving adult coloring books will surely help you get out and away from it all and help you relax and unwind. It is like taking a vacation without going anywhere!

Colouring is meditative—it allows us to mindfully focus on one thing at a time, to steer clear of stress-causing distractions. The benefits of the practice have been endorsed by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). They’re even being used by the American Wounded Warrior program, as part of group therapy for veterans struggling with PTSD.

Coloring Books Give Wounded Veterans Therapeutic Benefits

Injured Service Members Relax and Unwind During Adult Coloring Session

Feb 12, 2016, 14:55 ET from Wounded Warrior Project

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Adult coloring books are appearing on bestseller lists as the coloring trend spreads nationwide. The one-time solo past time is becoming a social activity, and recently a group of injured service members discovered the therapeutic advantages of color pencil to paper.

Organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) as part of the Alumni program, events like this create support through shared experiences. Many service members face similar challenges adjusting to their injuries and civilian life; by bonding at events, these wounded veterans learn they are not alone.

The health benefits of coloring go beyond relaxation by alleviating stress and anxiety. Studies indicate coloring exercises fine motor skills and trains the brain to focus. It has also been therapeutic for those who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Army veteran and WWP Alumnus Lorrie Briscoe said, “This was my first experience with adult coloring and it took me back to childhood with no worries in the world. It was calm and peaceful, aside from deciding what color to use on what part of the picture.”

Read complete press release. 

Crafting and Coloring Are Natural Antidepressants

A post on scrapbook.com titled Handmade Creativity Makes You Healthier & Happier  supports the benefits of crafting:
“Crafting: it’s cheaper than therapy.”  Most any crafter will nod emphatically in agreement…even after restocking their paper and glitter stash.  Crafting can actually function as a natural antidepressant.

Carrie Barron, M.D., a psychiatrist and the co-author of The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness With Your Own Two Hands, published an article that asserts, “Creating something with your hands fosters pride and satisfaction, but also provides psychological benefits. When you make something, you feel productive, but the engagement and exploration involved in the doing can move your mind and elevate your mood.”

She further explains that handmade self-expression can even help us to let go of negative thoughts or experiences: “You may or may not be conscious of what perturbs you, but creative action with your hands, mind, and body can turn undermining forces into usable energies.”  Lambert also explores the psychological and emotional benefits of handmade crafts and comes to similar conclusions: “It seems clear that tasks involving the hands – cooking, gardening, crafts – have a therapeutic effect on many people.”  And “we get a deep sense of emotional satisfaction and well-being when we do something that requires physical effort, including coordination and especially movement of the hands.”

Read the complete article.

But how does coloring work? What does this pastime do to our brains to elicit such pleasure and calm?

One very informative article on adult coloring books was written in   b a clinical psychologist named Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. The article is titled 3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain – Find out what’s behind the latest craze

The following is taken from this article: “According to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D., coloring has everything to do with refocusing our attention. Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves. In the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.

Birds of the World: Adult Coloring Book by Rémy SimardWhat Does Adult Coloring Do To Relax People?

Dr. Bea cites three reasons adult coloring can be calming:

  1. Attention flows away from ourselves. A simple act, such as coloring, takes your attention away from yourself and onto the present-moment event. “In this way, it is very much like a meditative exercise,” Dr. Bea says.
  2. It relaxes the brain. When thoughts are focused on a simple activity, your brain tends to relax. “We are not disturbed by our own thoughts and appraisals,” he says. “The difficulties of life evaporate from our awareness, and both our bodies and our brains may find this rewarding.”
  3. Low stakes make it pleasurable. The fact that the outcome of coloring is predictable also can be relaxing. “It is hard to screw up coloring, and, even if you do, there is no real consequence. As result, adult coloring can be a wonderful lark, rather than an arduous test of our capacities,” he adds.

Why does it help some people but not others?

Adult coloring does not relax everyone. It depends on the individual and their prior experiences. Dr. Bea suspects that the more a person enjoyed coloring as a child, the more likely he or she is to respond to it positively as an adult. “It has been my impression that adults choose variants of activities they loved as children for their adult recreations,” he says.

Read the complete article.

Can Coloring Be Called “Art Therapy?

Coloring has even become a social activity, a modern equivalent of a quilting bee. Colorists chill out, chat, and color by meeting in each others homes, in restaurants, in libraries, at camp sites, on the beach, and anywhere where there is enough light to see the designs and a flat surface to place it. Can coloring be called “art therapy”?

Coloring itself cannot be called art therapy because art therapy relies on the relationship between the client and the therapist,” says Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU.  Just like meditation, coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety. It can be particularly effective for people who aren’t comfortable with more creatively expressive forms of art, says Berberian, “My experience has been that those participants who are more guarded find a lot of tranquility in coloring an image. It feels safer and it creates containment around their process,” she adds.

With all the benefits attributed to stress relieving adult coloring books, it is worth to give it a try. There is surely a coloring book with designs on any topic you are interested in. Getting lost in coloring books is no longer just for children! Happy coloring!

Read Also: 

Buy Adult Coloring Books by Blue Star Coloring: 

  • Exotic Animal Designs: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book by Katie Packer and Blue Star Coloring Amazon.com   Amazon.ca 
  • Decorate Your Halloween: An Adult Coloring Book of Halloween Crafts Sep 27 2016     Amazon.com
  • Spirit of Halloween: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book Sep 30 2015  Amazon.com Amazon.ca
  • Soul of the Woodland: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book Aug 14 2015  Amazon.com Amazon.ca
  • Soul of the Woodland: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book, Celebration Edition Oct 20 2016  Amazon.com Amazon.ca

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
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