Adult coloring books, you know what we’re talking about. If you didn’t get one of these hot items during the holidays, surely you’ve scanned them while checking out at your local craft store or even Target. Adult coloring books are are the rage right now. But are they merely today’s version of wedge sneakers?
Actually, there are several benefits of coloring.
According to a 2005 study, anxiety levels dropped substantially when subjects colored mandalas (round frames with geometric patterns inside). Similar to mediation, coloring allows us to “turn off” our brains. To focus on the task at hand, coloring, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety. It’s also allowed those who don’t normally deem themselves creative, or feel comfortable with other forms of art a creative outlet.
Whether you consider yourself creative or not, research yields the importance of incorporating a smidge of creativity into our daily lives. Zorana Ivcevic, a researcher at Yale, Aexamined traits associated with “everyday creativity,” or how we express ourselves in everyday situations ranging from getting dressed to coping with daily challenges. Those who had a higher “creative lifestyle” tended to be more conscientious, and had a higher interest in personal growth. Another study involving 30 women with disabling chronic illness revealed that those who had taken up color described the hobby as “cathartic,” and that it distracted their thoughts from their pain. Additional research suggests that patients in hospitals who take up coloring had a shorter stay thanks to reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
Give it a try
Truly, there are numerous studies indicating the meditation-like benefits of coloring. Whether you think it’s silly, not productive, a waste of time or money, we urge you to give it a try. You don’t need professional grade pencils or markers, just use what you have. Whether it’s your child’s remnants of crayons or different highlighters from work, just make sure you’re satisfied with your color choice. We’ve even gathered a couple of printables below.. Take one hour and color. Preferably without the television going, but if you need the background noise, we won’t call you out. After that hour, take a minute to write down how you feel, what you thought about while you were coloring and how you felt while you were coloring. Are you surprised?