Coloring is a nastalgic activity for most of us. We all remember our favorite coloring books as a kid and how excited we were to get the large pack of crayons. But did you know there are many benefits to coloring as adults as well.
Here are seven really great reasons to make coloring a long term hobby.
1. Relaxes Your Brain and Improves Brain Function
Coloring books are a great way to relax your brain and quiet your mind. When you’re coloring, you’re focused on the simple activity in front of you. This begins to relax your mind and keep your thoughts from intruding. Coloring can also improve your brain's ability to function. When you’re coloring, different parts of your brain's cerebral hemispheres are activated. When you choose what colors to use, your creativity is activated. As you color forms and shapes, your logic is also activated.
2. Induces Meditative State
More complex designs with smaller spaces for coloring require you to hone your hand-eye coordination and motor skills, skills you don't use when you're just scrolling on your electronics. Some health professionals believe that the following activities not only engage motor skills, but can even help delay the onset of dementia: coloring, crossword puzzles and brainteasers.
4. Improves Sleep
If you color before bed, you’re likely to sleep better than if you scrolled on your phone. Exposure to blue light from your phone or tablet can hinder your sleep quality by stopping your body's natural melatonin release. By coloring in a book before bed instead, you’re keeping electronics out of the bedroom, allowing your melatonin level to release naturally as your body gets ready for sleep.
Adult coloring books can also improve your focus level. Coloring activates your frontal lobe, which means that your brain is organizing and problem-solving. Regular coloring sessions allow you to relax from the day and focus on one thing.
Studies have shown that coloring can reduce anxiety in adults. Coloring for 20 minutes or more is an effective way to lower your heart rate and decrease feelings of anxiety. In the studies, coloring more intricate designs like mandalas was more effective than coloring in a plaid pattern or blank page.
Coloring isn’t going to cure your anxiety or depression, but it can reduce the levels of anxiety and stress that can lead to depression. If coloring is an activity you enjoy, then you should practice it regularly.
One significant benefit of coloring for adults is stress relief. Coloring is a repetitive activity that requires attention to detail. When you're focused on the coloring, you're not paying attention to other things that may have caused stress throughout the day. Starting or ending your day by coloring a page out of an adult coloring book can stir up feelings of nostalgia and remind you of your childhood. This connection to a time when things were typically less stressful can also help you relax.
Whether you color just for fun or to relax your mind, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try it. Coloring is for more than children. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed, take your mind off of the problem and start coloring.