October 14, 2015

Coloring Books Reduces Stress

Have you noticed all of the coloring books in book stores these days? And these are not just your ordinary coloring books; they're coloring books for adults. I came across this display and thumbed through all of the different styles and designs. They range from whimsical drawings of children, animals, music, and architecture to nature scenes. My favorites happen to include intricate drawings of patterns and geometric shapes. Some are even filled with symbols used in Hinduism and Buddhism for spiritual focus and meditation. 

It turns out that they are actually used to help adults de-stress. And there's a bit of science to back it up. The actual process of coloring generates a feeling of wellness, quiet and calm. At the same time, it also stimulates the brain areas related to motor skills and creativity. By combining the two, we trigger relaxation by lowering the activity of our brain that controls emotions affected by stress. It's basic distraction 101. We focus on the activity and not our worries.... with the added benefit of conjuring up fond childhood memories and using our imagination in ways we probably laid to rest long ago.

Coloring inside the lines has never been more popular.This growing trend extends beyond our borders as European countries and beyond have caught hold of this not-so-new phenomenon. Art therapy is a well-known therapeutic technique. "The creative process of making art to improve a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being, can help manage behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness."* So, it's little wonder that if we pick up a colored pencil and begin to create on any level, we'll feel better just by choosing the colors we draw with.

Color Me Happy and Color Me Calm, have sold out in each of the five printings since their release. It's not too early to think about holiday presents. Put these at the top of your list!