Why Coloring Pages Is One Of The Best Therapies
Coloring isn’t just for kids. One of the first things we learn to do is crayon. Kids love playing with crayons and paint. It helps develop their creativity, observational skills, and social skills. The joy of mixing colors together, and making marks on paper is an important part of development.
However, as we grow and focus on passing exams to get a job, playing with paint and crayons isn’t seen as something of importance anymore, unless you’re going into the creative industry.
This is sad, as it can help you in so many ways as an adult. You don’t have to be a great artist, in fact you don’t even need to be able to draw as you can get some amazing designs to color in. All you need to get started is a box of colored pencils. You can even get coloring pages for tablets! In this case you’d only need a tablet pen to start coloring!
Coloring an alternative to meditation?
Not everyone wants to spend time meditating each day, even though it’s so beneficial. However many would spend time with a box of crayons! Just like meditation it helps calm the mind. Instead of focusing on breathing, or chanting a word, you’re focusing your mind on coloring in shapes. This requires a lot of concentration as Many of these designs are very intricate.
While you’re coloring, practice being mindful. By that I mean be aware of every little movement and process involved. The coloring motion with your hand, the feel of the paper, and the sensation of holding the crayon stick. Doing this means you’re only focusing only on the present moment.
You won’t be thinking of past or future events, so any negative thoughts will be blocked, making you feel better.
The gentle, repetitive task of coloring in each little shape is in itself very calming, and can reduce stress.
Coloring as a natural stress relief
Coloring to relieve stress goes back to the early 20th century, when Carl Jung used it as stress relief therapy for his patients.
He said that when coloring we activate 2 different parts of the brain which are responsible for fine motor skills and vision. It helps you to de-stress in several ways. Firstly the activity itself forces you to take your mind off worries, secondly coloring can bring back happy childhood memories and activate your imagination. Thirdly relaxation affects the part of the brain that controls stress, making you feel calm.
Coloring to boost productivity
Apart from the benefits of relaxation, coloring can also help to increase your productivity at work. It gets the creative juices flowing as the process of coloring stimulates the creative side of the brain. You may find new ideas pop into your mind as you’re filling in those little spaces with color.
A relaxed mind is more able to problem solve and brainstorm ideas. Sitting at a desk with a blank piece of paper, or virtual paper on the laptop can result in mental blocks.
You’re trying to force ideas which never works. Playing with color or even doodling with pens somehow releases those blocks. I really don’t know how it works, but it does.
Both coloring and meditation gets your mind to focus which helps you get things done. You don’t need to spend long working on a design in one sitting, and you pick it up anytime you want. Just a few short coloring breaks during the day could make a big difference to your well being. Many people have found that it can even help you learn faster, so great news for students!
Coloring pages to ease depression
Depression can be a serious mental problem and should always be treated by a doctor. However mild depression and feelings of sadness can be helped with coloring. You’re not really thinking about anything else while you absorbed in coloring, so it’s like taking a short break from your over active mind. A little bit of escapism .
Watching a favourite tv show can help you relax, but your mind can still be racing, with hundreds of thoughts going on in your head! Coloring is different as it does require some degree of concentration.
Many people find their depression eases very quickly once they open up a box of crayons and start filling in a coloring page design. It can be almost immediate in some cases.
Of course any activity that’s gentle and repetitive, and gives a desired result will have the same calming effect. Embroidery, cross stitching, or knitting are all good examples that may work for you.
If you’re an artist anyway, you’ll know how comforting that box of vibrant pastels or paints can be. Just picking up a paintbrush or pencil and making marks on paper can be so relaxing.
Coloring pages as a natural healing therapy
The relaxing and calming effect of coloring can also help reduce blood pressure, and lower your heart rate. Over the long term this reduces your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Of course regular exercise and a healthy diet play a major role in keeping you physically well, but as I’ve said before, your mind and body are closely linked. Feeling calm and less stressed will have a big impact on your physical wellbeing
You can buy coloring books with a wide selection of designs, but you can also find a wide selection available to download and print out for free.
Don’t be afraid of going over the lines and spoiling a design! It’s meant to relax you, not cause more stress! Keep a sharpener handy so you’ll always have sharp tips for precision coloring.
When you’ve completed a design you can feel a great sense of achievement. Show your artwork off by printing copies and using them to wrap birthday gifts. You could also buy plain t-shirts and iron on transfer paper. Having a t-shirt that has an original, vibrant color design is sure to get noticed! Another idea is to make your own greetings cards from them!
I hope this article has inspired you to start coloring, and enjoy the many benefits it gives.