Why Coloring Books Aren't Just For Kids

10:10 PM

My first post in the challenge focused on anxiety, but I intentionally left off one of the methods for dealing with it I've found most helpful so I could cover it a little more in depth.

I've always loved art in all its forms, so I was like most kids in having a huge collection of coloring books. Well, my collection as an adult is probably twice the size it was when I was a kid, and I definitely spend more time and energy focusing on coloring these days!
Not only is it nice to return to simpler times when all you had to worry about was trying to finish one page before you got bored and skipped around -- I have so many half-finished pages in books and in Photoshop that it isn't funny -- but neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski's study shows that coloring isn't just nice; it's actually therapeutic. "The most amazing things occurred," says Rodski. "We started seeing changes in heart rate, changes in brainwaves."
Dr. Joel Pearson at the University of New South Wales concurs, stating, "You have to look at the size and shape, you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a color." This attention to detail, he goes on to say, will occupy the same parts of your brain as anxious imagery,  quite literally replacing the bad with the good.

Whether you color to help with anxiety or because it's fun, the benefits are real, and who doesn't want to make their day just a little brighter?

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6 comments

  1. Well said Ash. In fact I colors more than my kids do sometimes and they complain that I have used up their pictures. Good thought.


    I am blogging about positive psychology and self help tips. Do drop and share: www.consumerpsyche.com

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    1. Haha! That's cute. I have a Minions coloring book, too. Sometimes I just don't want to deal with all the complex patterns.

      I will! I could definitely use self-help tips right now.

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  2. A friend of mine is all about adult coloring books (as opposed to "adult" coloring books). It never occurred to me that she might be doing it to help with her anxiety. This is real food for thought.

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    1. Haha, yes, you do have to be specific. I've had a few "adult" coloring books pop up in search results. It's very calming. I recommend them to everyone.

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  3. I color to relax before bed and to help with stress. I think the benefits are really there. I can see where it would be great for anxiety. Thanks for sharing. Cassie from Mommy, RN

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  4. It's definitely helpful, and it's done more in rehabbing the wrist I broke almost twenty years ago than the actual rehab did!

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