Coloring is no longer just for kids. In a recent trend, adults across the country have been flocking to coloring books as a way to relax and unwind. Coloring has been said to be able to help you achieve mindfulness, banish anxiety, and even deal with trauma.
Coloring allows your amygdala, the fear center of your brain, to relax - and not just while you are coloring. Giving your amygdala periodic rests actually reduces your stress overall. Coloring is a meditative, free-time activity you can schedule, making it perfect for retraining your amygdala to respond less harshly to stress.
In simple terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on the activity and not on our worries. Adult coloring books can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues, as well. For many, boredom, lack of structure, and stress are triggers for these issues. This applies to individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, stress disorders, depressive disorders, eating and binge eating disorders, anger management issues, and substance abuse issues.
The time and focus that coloring requires generally helps the individual remove the focus from the negative issues that are bothering them, and focuses them in a safe and productive way.
Coloring also utilizes areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration. So believe it or not, coloring has intellectual benefits, as well. It also helps with problem solving and organizational skills. Our frontal lobes are responsible for these higher level activities and functions of the brain, and coloring detailed pictures activates all those areas.
Adult coloring books are highly effective for many reasons, even if they do feel like they are only a fad. Try one out and you may just surprise yourself!