To think that coloring is just a childhood pastime is erroneous. Adult coloring is becoming a trend worldwide. This trend, most probably, is rooted in the belief that coloring can soothe your mental health. Coloring Therapy has witnessed a constant improvement in mindfulness among people having anxiety or other mental health-related concerns. Coloring Therapy for adults was found to aid with mood, creativity, and anxiety in a study undertaken by a group of researchers in the United Kingdom. Let’s dig a little deeper into the subject and see why it might be time to dust off your colored pencils, crayons, and markers.
What Is Coloring Therapy?
So, what is Coloring Therapy? How does it work? It depends on the idea that colors can help deal with mental or physical ailments. It’s been reiterated multiple times that colors can cause subtle changes in both our body and mind. They have practiced this in Egypt, Greece, India, and China since ancient times. Coloring Therapy is most often viewed as an alternative or complementary to medical therapy. For instance, the blue color is known for its calm and relaxing nature. Pink colors act as a catalyst towards detoxification. This therapy focuses on colors and their frequencies to heal emotional and mental problems. They also help balance psychological and physiological imbalances in the body.
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Why Coloring Therapy Is a Boon?
The benefits of coloring are tremendous that you can spend hours coloring and end up feeling relaxed and stress-free. Therapists recommend color therapy as it can help you establish a calm state of mind, which people can achieve commonly through meditation. The American Arts Therapy Association claims coloring therapy as a mental health occupation, where the act of creating and painting is typically used to promote self-awareness, manage addictions and other behavioral concerns, and assuage emotional conflicts. Coloring is something that anyone can do and you don’t have to be a great artist or painter to do it.
Key Benefits of Coloring
- Improves Sleep
In recent times, we mostly occupied our nighttime with electronic gadgets. We are getting exposed to the emitted light when we use these devices, which lowers the levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. Coloring is an electronic-free and relaxing bedtime routine, that wouldn’t disturb melatonin levels in the body.
- Advances Focus
Coloring requires focus. It opens the front lobe, which is directly located beyond the forehead. The front lobe helps in problem-solving and improves focus to a great extent. Thus, with coloring, you can disregard everything that’s causing you to stress aside and live in the moment. Doesn’t it already sound like the best option to unwind a stressful day?
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- An Alternative to Meditation
Many psychologists prescribe coloring to help their clients unwind and relax. They consider coloring to be an alternative to meditation and yoga to control anxiety and breathing levels. The results achieved by coloring are prone to give the same soothing experience to the brain as sought from yoga and meditation.
- Enhances Hand-Eye Coordination Among Children
Hand-eye coordination refers to the capability to process data received from the eyes to direct the hands in performing the task. This coordination is vital for children to improve their physical activity, academic activity, social skills, etc. Coloring invariantly improves this coordination among children.
- Replaces Negative Thoughts
Concentrating on coloring or painting facilitates the replacement or elimination of negative thoughts from our minds. Coloring stimulates that part of the brain which stops anxiety-related mental ailments. It also halts the flow of pessimistic thoughts and emotions.
How To Kick-Start It Sooner Than Later?
Wondering where to start it? If you’re dealing with mental or emotional issues, coloring therapy can do wonders for your mental health. But where to start it? Well, for starters, you can start with purchasing coloring books. Besides coloring books, there are adult apps for coloring, and coloring printable which are available both online and offline. They feature intricate designs and are made with high-quality papers, and have a vast collection of themes. You can also get these books with unique patterns like animals, mandalas, floral designs, etc.
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You can purchase these books right away, channel the artist in you while de-stressing and attaining a state of peace in parallel. Coloring with Mandalas has also proved to be extremely therapeutic. You can also seek help from art therapists and creative practitioners to aid you along your artistic and mental health journey.
Is There Research to Back This Idea?
Well, yes. In a study held in 2006, researchers discovered that this therapy significantly helps reduce symptoms in women having cancer. This study also stated that this therapy can be a potential cure for people having depression, addiction, and trauma.
In a recent study conducted on undergraduates, it was concluded that coloring a geometric design, like a mandala, helps in reducing the anxiety levels among students and teenagers. Scientists also stated that this therapy can produce the same calming effect the person would benefit from listening to his or her favorite song. Major news outlets like CNN and CNB are reporting about the coloring phenomenon. They define this therapy as a mental health carrier in which the clients, facilitated by art professionals use coloring as medication and they find it to be therapeutic.
Some of the collective benefits of coloring understood from these studies are:
- Developing social skills
- Increasing self-esteem
- Reducing anxiety
- Improving reality orientation.
As stated by healthyplace.com, a mental health portal, coloring therapy is created on the fact that different hues elicit varied emotions among people. Some colors are claimed to be stimulating, while few others are known for their soothing nature. It can affect a person’s energy levels, emotions, hunger, mood, and decision-making abilities to a greater extent. It is so common to seek stress-reducing ways to cope up with the ongoing pandemic situation and restore our feelings. Therefore, it’s time to give our childhood favorite time pass – Color Therapy.